Nukentėjusiųjų nuo smurto artimoje aplinkoje specialių apsaugos poreikių vertinimo procedūra
This paper discusses the framework of national legal regulation on the assessment of victims of violence in close environment to identify specific protection needs. The main objective of the analysis was to assess the adequacy of compliance with the constitutional requirements and standards of the Victims’ Rights Directive. The provisions of this Directive have been transposed into national law by amending the Criminal Procedure Code and adopting a new post-legislative legal act by the prosecutor general (hereinafter – Recommendations). The form of the implementation of the Directive is in principle an adequate technique of transposition. But some provisions of the Recommendations differ from the norms of the Criminal Procedure Code or restrict them. This casts doubt on whether the requirements of constitutional legality are met. To avoid this, it is recommended to harmonize the provisions of the Recommendations with the norms of the Criminal Procedure Code as regards the ground and terms to benefit from the special protection measures and definitions used. The results of the comparative analysis suggest that some aspects of national regulation in this field are not in full conformity with the requirements of the Directive, specifically, the recommendatory nature of the provisions, an exhaustive list of assessment criteria and special protection measures for children, an undefined benefit of some measures during trial proceedings or later stages and the performance of individual assessment using other procedures, unsufficient attention to victims of violence in close environment, victims’ active participation in the procedure, flexibility options. It is therefore recommended to harmonize these provisions with the standards of Directive and supplement them. Victims of violence in close environment tend to experience a high rate of secondary and repeat victimisation, intimidation and retaliation, and there should be a strong presumption that these victims will benefit from special protection measures. Child victims are also considered vulnerable a priori. Consequently, as far as these victims are concerned it is appropriate to perform only the second stage of two-step process of assessment and determine specific protection measures to meet individual needs. The flexibility of the procedure, differentiation of the assessment, categorization of vulnerability is also to be considered in the case of other types of criminal acts.
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