Ministerial Conference

29th Conference of Council of Europe Ministers of Justice
18-19 June 2009, Tromsø, Norway

''Breaking the silence – united against domestic violence''

Domestic violence is shrouded in secrecy. Its victims rarely reveal the fear, isolation and trauma in which they live. The perpetrators deny it takes place at all. It is as if it does not exist.

Domestic violence has long been met with public and political silence. It is barely visible in the legal system and seldom recognised as a serious crime and violation of fundamental human rights.

The scene of domestic violence is behind closed doors. It mostly involves intimate partners and former partners, and also takes place within same sex relationships. The victims of domestic violence are usually, but not exclusively, women. Men can be affected as well as children who are often both witnesses of violence between adults and victims of such violence. The increase in inter-generational violence is also becoming a matter of concern in our societies.

The Ministers of Justice will discuss ways to combat domestic violence by identifying the problems and developing and promoting a common approach to breaking the silence, and supporting and empowering the victims.

The 29th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers of Justice will open a forum for exchange of views on these issues and identify areas where further efforts are needed to tackle this problem in Europe.


Media advisory
Press release
Photostream on Flickr
Webcast: opening session
Webcast: plenary session
Webcast: Janusz Korczak lecture
Speech by Maud de Boer-Buquicchio
Speech by Maud de Boer-Buquicchio at the Janusz Korczak lecture

Report presented by the Minister of Justice of Norway
Follow-up to resolutions adopted at previous Conferences of European Ministers of Justice - Report presented by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Report presented by the Delegation of the Ministry of Justice and Citizens’ Liberties of Romania
Report by the Swiss Ministry of Justice [fr]
Report by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Slovenia

Other documents

Chamber judgment - Opuz case (09/06/09): Press release; Judgment
"Equal recognition before the law"
Position Paper by Mr Robert Bechina (Austria), European Co-ordination Forum for the Council of Europe Disability Action Plan 2006-2015 (CAHPAH)
The Council of Europe and the Rule of Law - an overview
Document CM 170 of 21 November 2008
Final Activity Report
Council of Europe task force to combat violence against women, including domestic violence


Reference sites

Conference site

Did you know...

Why we organise the Conference of European Ministers of Justice?

About the Conference

Agenda for the meeting of senior officials
''Fireside chat''


''Stop domestic violence against women''
TV Spot
Radio Spot
''Building a Europe for and with children''

Useful links

Ad Hoc Committee on preventing and combatting violence against women (CAHVIO)
Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse
Child-friendly justice

Council of Europe on...