Judicial Benchbook - Considerations for Domestic Violence Case Evaluation in Bosnia and Herzegovina Cover Image

Judicial Benchbook - Considerations for Domestic Violence Case Evaluation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Judicial Benchbook - Considerations for Domestic Violence Case Evaluation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Author(s): Rada Bjeljac, Jasmina Ćosić, Sanela Kovač-Grabonjić, Amela Mahić-Samardžić, Branimir Maletić, Darko Samardžić, Dragan Uletilović, Biljana Vučetić, Adisa Zahiragić
Subject(s): Gender Studies, Psychology, Criminal Law, Criminology, Studies in violence and power, Family and social welfare, Victimology
Published by: Atlantska inicijativa: Udruženje za promicanje euroatlantskih integracija BiH
Keywords: domestic violence; judicial practice in cases of domestic violence in BiH;criminal justice system;recidivism; psychological violence; Abuse of alcohol or drugs; victims;
Summary/Abstract: The purpose of the DV Benchbook is to improve the judicial response to domestic violence and increase the consistency of judicial practice in cases of domestic violence in BiH. While this resource represents the first of its kind in BiH, there are numerous similar resources throughout North America, Western and Northern Europe and other locations across the globe.1 This fact is a testament to the challenge that domestic violence presents to courts and the broader criminal justice system. Indeed, domestic violence constitutes one of the most complicated and difficult socio-criminal issues confronted by judiciaries and criminal justice communities the world over. As such, a resource that can aid courts in evaluating and understanding cases of domestic violence – including deepening critical understanding of social factors identified as mitigating or aggravating – can improve judicial practice and in¬crease judicial consistency. Moreover, in line with the purpose of punishment as listed in the respective criminal codes, the information provided in the DV Benchbook can support the judiciary’s ability to achieve its stated goals: • expressing community condemnation for this criminal offence • preventing the perpetrator from committing the same criminal offence in the future • preventing others from perpetrating this criminal offence • increasing the awareness of citizens of the danger of this criminal offence and the fairness of punishing perpetrators.2 The DV Benchbook represents the best professional judgement of the members of the DV Judge Panel and those collaborating on the development of the resource. It is important to note that this resource constitutes the first of its kind – as a resource on the subject of domestic violence as well as the methodology used to develop the content. The topic of domestic violence was proposed by judges who recognized that judicial practice in BiH had room for improvement. The content was entirely and completely developed by judges – for judges. And while the methodology included support from DCAF/AI and a consultant, that support was limited to identifying and preparing materials and resources for the DV Judge Panel to review. The DV Judge Panel was responsible for outlining and developing the de¬tails of each recommendation made within the DV Benchbook. The unfortunate reality is that domestic violence impacts our communities and our courts – and that impact is likely to continue to grow. Our best intention is to work together to im¬prove understanding of this problem in order to improve our methods and our mechanisms for addressing it within the judiciary. Thus it is our hope that the DV Benchbook will serve as a cornerstone in improving our understanding and developing innovative solutions to this profound problem.

  • Print-ISBN-13: 978-92-9222-297-0
  • Page Count: 46
  • Publication Year: 2014
  • Language: English