A working meeting with the lawyers took place on 28 and 29 April 2022, to discuss the main challenges and obstacles in dealing with domestic violence cases. The event brought together representatives of the police, prosecution, courts, lawyers from the central region, the NGO Women’s Rights Centre and the Council of Europe, aiming primarily at enhancing the capacities of lawyers to provide free legal aid to victims of domestic violence.
The meeting was organised in the context of the campaign #TellTheWholeStory, that is implemented to raise the awareness of victims on the available protective mechanisms. Even though the campaign gained publicity and had a great outreach, additional efforts are needed to further enhance the judicial response to the phenomenon of the domestic violence. Not only do the victims need to be informed of their rights, but other actors in the system must also respond adequately to their needs, thus providing comprehensive support. Lawyers, as free legal aid providers, play an important role in this respect and need to be sensitised to deal with the victims of violence.
In the coming months, a series of training sessions will take place to encompass a large number of lawyers from all three regions of Montenegro.
The activities aiming to enhance capacities of lawyers to provide free legal aid to victims of domestic violence are organised within the action "Improved procedural safeguards in judicial proceedings in Montenegro" is a part of the joint European Union and Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022”.