Legal Rights and Measures

 

Police to institute proceedings ex officio in the case of any offence involving domestic violence

 

By means of amendments to the law due to the implementation of the Istanbul Convention, the Police are obliged to proceed ex officiowhich means they are duty bound and have the authority to investigate a case of Domestic Violence without the necessity of a report from the alleged victim or any further permission or authorisation. 

 

Further to this, once a police report is filed with respect to a crime relating to Domestic Violence, the police are duty bound to investigate this incident, and withdrawal of the complaint in order to stop such investigation is no longer possible. 

 

Procedure in cases where the police refuse to institute proceedings

 

In certain cases, the victim may apply to the Court where the police fail to institute proceedings against the perpetrator. The Court will order the police to institute proceedings where it appears to the Magistrate that there is  (prima facie) considerable evidence of the commission of a crime. 

 

Police to carry out risk assessment

 

Upon the receipt of any report, information or complaint regarding proceedings to be taken against an alleged perpetrator from an alleged victim of domestic violence, the police together with a professional shall immediately conduct the risk of the injured person or of any other effected individual, depending on the case. 

 

Temporary Protection Order

 

If the assessment results that the alleged victim is at serious risk the police have to immediately request the duty magistrate to issue a temporary protection order. The decision of whether to issue the temporary protection order by the Magistrate shall be taken within six hours of receipt of the application made by the police to the Magistrate.

 

The temporary protection order may impose any restrictions or prohibitions as the Magistrate shall deem necessary in order to ensure; that the victim or any other effected individual are safe, the keeping of the public peace, the protection of the injured person or any other individual from harassment or any other conduct that will cause a fear of violence.

 

A temporary protection order may prohibit the perpetrator from approaching or following the movements of the victim, prohibit or resist the perpetrator’s access to premises in which the victim lives, works or frequents and prohibit the perpetrator from contacting or molesting the victim.

 

If the alleged perpetrator without reasonable excuse contravenes any prohibition or restriction imposed upon such individual by a temporary protection order, such alleged perpetrator shall, on conviction be liable to a fine of seven thousand Euro (€7,000) or to imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

 

A temporary protection order shall remain in force until the alleged perpetrator is taken to court but can also be revoked or extended for further periods on good cause being shown by the police or the victim. If the police determine that no criminal proceedings are warranted against the alleged perpetrator, the police shall inform the Magistrate and request the revocation of the temporary protection order.

 

Protection Order 

 

There are two courts that may offer protection to victims of domestic violence, the Criminal Court and the Family Court (Civil Court).

 

If the victim and perpetrator are married, cohabiting, in a civil union or have a child in common, a protection order may be given by the Family Court. 

 

The protection order given by the Criminal Court may be issued once the perpetrator is charged or accused of a criminal offence.

 

The protection order will be issued by means of an application filed with the Court through a lawyer. The Family Court will appoint the application for hearing within four (4) working days and the Criminal Court within seven (7) working days.

 

A protection order issued by the Family Court or by the Criminal Court may impose any restrictions or prohibitions on the alleged perpetrator that appear to the Court necessary or desirable in the same way as the temporary protection order. 

 

It shall remain in force for a period, not exceeding five years, specified by the Court, but can be revoked or extended for further periods. Similarly to the temporary protection order, if the alleged perpetrator without reasonable excuse contravenes any prohibition or restriction imposed upon such individual by a protection order, such alleged perpetrator shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine of seven thousand Euro (€7,000) or to imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

 

Restraining Order

 

A restraining order may be issued together with delivery of a judgment against the accused in order to protect the victim once legal proceedings have ended.  Similarly to the protection order, the restraining order may impose any restrictions or prohibitions on the perpetrator that appear to the Court necessary in order to ensure: that the injured person or any other individual are safe, the keeping of the public peace or the protection of the injured person or any other individual from harassment or any other conduct, which will cause a fear of violence. 

 

A restraining order may prohibit the perpetrator from approaching or following the movements of the victim, prohibit or resist the perpetrator’s access to premises in which the victim lives, works or frequents and prohibit the perpetrator from contacting or molesting the victim.

 

A restraining order shall remain in force for a period not exceeding three years.

 

If without reasonable excuse the perpetrator contravenes any prohibition or restriction imposed upon him by a restraining order, the perpetrator shall be liable a fine of two thousand and three hundred and twenty-nine euro and thirty-seven cents (€2329.37) or to imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

 

For more information on the legal rights or measures available according to law kindly contact info@themarcyfoundation.com.