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Background

Prosecutors' Domestic Violence Handbook for Bosnia and Herzegovina

authors

editors

Nenad Galić, Callum Watson

Cover

Abstract

Prosecutors play a decisive role in the effective sanctioning of perpetrators of domestic violence (DV), and in the protection of victims. They are the main link between the activities of police to identify and build a case against perpetrators of domestic violence and any final court decision about a perpetrator’s guilt. Yet, the response of judicial professionals in DV cases can be inhibited by an inadequate understanding of the specific nature of domestic violence; a lack of knowledge about binding international legal standards in practice; and stereotyped or biased interpretation of the facts of a case that impact the evaluation of evidence. 

This handbook was designed for prosecutors, by prosecutors to provide information deemed particularly important in prosecuting these cases and to recommend improvements in practice in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was developed by a working group of eleven prosecutors from prosecutor’s offices in both the Federation of BiH and the Republika Srpska, each with extensive professional experience in DV cases. While the handbook is tailored for the specific legal context of BiH, the recommendations are appropriate for a wider context. As well, the methodology used to develop the handbook can serve as a model for similar work in other locations.