B&H: Women Victims of Violence Recognized as Beneficiaries of Free Legal Aid/BiH: Žene žrtve nasilja prepoznate kao korisnice besplatne pravne pomoći

13 July 2020 – A new Law on Free Legal Aid has entered into force In the Republika Srpska, which recognizes victims of domestic violence as beneficiaries of free legal aid according to the criteria of personal characteristics or status. The Law gives victims priority over other applicants in marital and family proceedings, and stipulates that the public institution that acts upon a report of domestic violence is obliged to inform the victim of domestic violence of the right to free legal aid and to inform the Center for Free Legal Aid of the Government of the Republika Srpska, in order to take actions prescribed by the Law.

This provision indicates that the Law are harmonized with the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence of the Republika Srpska, as well as international standards of the Council of Europe Convention on Prevention and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence in relation to the obligations of the public institutions to inform victims of violence about her rights and possibilities of protection and support by the competent public institutions.

The Law on Free Legal Aid of the Republika Srpska also prescribes that, when determining the right to free legal aid on the basis of financial criteria, the income and property of those family members who are the opposing party in the proceedings are not taken into account. This overcomes the previous problem of women victims of violence in obtaining free legal aid, for whom the property and income of the perpetrator of violence were a restriction in exercising their rights.

In 2019, the United Women Foundation Banja Luka, sent the proposal for these changes to the Ministry of Justice of the Republika Srpska, and has continuously advocated for these legal solutions in the process of drafting and adopting laws, in order to have a stronger systemic response to enable women survivors to their rights and have access to adequate support and assistance.

13. juli 2020. godine – U Republici Srpskoj je stupio na snagu novi Zakon o besplatnoj pravnoj pomoći koji, po kriterijumu ličnog svojstva ili statusa, prepoznaje žrtve nasilja u porodici kao korisnike besplatne pravne pomoći. Zakon žrtvama daje prioritet u odnosu na drugog podnosioca u bračnim i porodičnim postupcima, te propisuje da je organ koji postupa po prijavi za nasilje u porodici obavezan da upozna žrtvu nasilja u porodici da pravom na besplatnu pravnu pomoć i da o tome obavjesti Centar za besplatnu pravnu pomoć Vlade Republike Srpske, radi preduzimanja radnji propisanih zakonom.

Ovim su odredbe Zakona uslađene sa Zakonom o zaštiti od nasilja u porodici Republike Srpske, kao i međunarodnim standardima Konvencije Savjeta Evrope o sprečavanju i suzbijanju nasilja prema ženama i nasilja u porodici u pravcu uređivanja obaveze informisanja žrtava nasilja o njihovim pravima i mogućnostima podrške i pomoći od strane nadležnih javnih institucija.

Zakon o besplatnoj pravnoj pomoći Republike Srpske takođe uređuje da se, prilikom utvrđivanja prava na besplatnu pravnu pomoć na osnovu finansijskog kriterijuma, ne uzima u obzir prihod i imovina onih članova porodice koji su podnosiocu zahtjeva suprostavljena stranka u postupku. Time se prevazilazi dosadašnji problem žena žrtava nasilja u ostvarivanju besplatne pravne pomoći kojima je imovina i prihodi počinioca nasilja bila ograničenje u ostvarivanju prava.

Fondacija Udružene žene Banja Luka je 2019. godine uputila prijedlog za izmjene i dopune ovog zakona Ministarstvu pravde Republike Srpske i kontinuirano se zalagala za ova zakonska rješenja u cilju snažnijeg sistemskog odgovora i omogućavanja ženama koje su preživjele nasilje da ostvare svoja prava i imaju pristup adekvatnoj podršci i pomoći.

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