B Comparative survey of laws General 772 Women Law Development International

B comparative survey of laws general 772 women law

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B. Comparative survey of laws General 7.7.2 Women, Law & Development International surveyed 146 respondents from different 593 countries. In addition to adopting gender-specific, comprehensive domestic violence legislation, respondents felt that greater enforcement of existing laws would improve the situation of 594 domestic violence in their countries. Respondents noted that a lack of faith in the legal system and pressure from legal officials were major factors influencing women not to file domestic violence complaints. Too often women who try to access the courts are impeded by the ignorance and hostility of the very officials to whom they must complain. Survey responses advocated for strong penalties for officials who do not enforce existing laws regarding domestic violence or do not follow proper procedures and protocols for the enforcement of these laws.
233 State Responses 99. 595 7.7.3 It is recommended that governments develop and enforce penalties against officials who 595 do not follow proper procedures and protocols for the enforcement of laws in cases of domestic violence or for actions contrary to the provisions and principles in domestic violence legislation. C. Evaluation 7.7.4 Three crucial stages in the applicant’s encounter with the legal system which are integral to the victim’s safety are embodied in previous discussions: * A duty on the SAPS to inform the victim of her rights. The legislation cannot operate effectively unless applicants are made aware, by those who represent the justice system, that there are procedures in place which they can utilize to protect their rights. * The service of documents by the clerk, sheriff and peace officers. Once again, without these law enforcement agents acting promptly, applicants cannot rely upon the protection of the order. * A duty upon the SAPS to execute warrants of arrest and to arrest respondents. 7.7.5 The failure of law enforcement agents to carry out their duties in the crucial stages in the applicant’s encounter with the legal system should constitute misconduct or even an offence. This is an attempt to ensure that law enforcement agents have a stake in ensuring that the legislation works to promote the safety of victims caught in domestic violence situations. In effect, it sends out the message that domestic violence is not only the problem of the applicant, but that of the entire justice system. Law enforcement agents have something to lose by not carrying out their duties to promote the spirit of the legislation.
234 Section 6 of the Act. 596 7.7.6 A duty on certain individuals to report the ill-treatment of children is contained in the Act and failure to comply therewith is an offence. 596
235 CLRC No 9 paragraph 120. 597 Fedler 1995 SALJ 234. 598 8. CONCLUSION 8.1 The Community Law Reform Committee of the Australian Capital Territory makes the 597 following notable observation: Over the past 10 years every major report dealing with domestic violence at an international, national, and state level has stressed the need for a co-ordinated and comprehensive approach to the problem.

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