An international conference “Prevention of domestic violence: experience of the Council of Europe and national jurisprudence” was co-organised by the Council of Europe, The Union of Young Lawyers of Russia and the Embassy of France in Russia under the French Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
Violence against women remains widespread in all member States of the Council of Europe; it has devastating consequences for women, societies and economies. The Council of Europe is playing a leading role in preventing and combating all forms of such violence through setting common European standards, monitoring compliance with them and co-operating with all its member states for easing their national implementation.
Effective legal training plays a crucial role in this. The conference in Moscow was dedicated to the official launch of the Council of Europe’s online course under its pan-European Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals Programme (HELP) on the topic of “Violence against Women and Domestic Violence”. The e-learning platform of the programme ensures that judges, prosecutors and lawyers in all the 47 member states, who are at the forefront of the protection of human rights, including those of victims, are kept up-to-date with the ever-evolving standards and case-law of the European Court of Human Rights.
The Conference was opened by Jean-Charles Berthonnet, political counsellor at the Embassy of France in Russia on behalf of the French Presidency of the Committee of Ministers and Mikhail Lobov, Head of Human Rights Policy and Co-operation Department of the Council of Europe.
The Council of Europe’s standards on protection against domestic violence, including the Council of Europe’s Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention) and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights were presented by Caterina Bolognese, the Head of Division of Gender Equality of the Council of Europe, and Elena Baroni, Lawyer of the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights, respectively.
The law and practices in Russia, France and other European countries on prevention of domestic violence were also discussed. Olga Goncharenko, the Senior Advisor of the International Relations Department of the Ombudsperson of the Russian Federation; Oksana Pushkina, the Member of the Russian State Duma and Representative at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe; Maxim Semenyako, the Director of the St. Petersburg Institute of Advocacy and the vice-president of the St. Petersburg Bar; My-Kim Yang Paya, Lawyer at the Paris Bar, honourable president of the association “Lawyers against violence against women”; and other leading national and international experts were discussing international practices and legal trends in the field.