Violence against women is pervasive and gives rise to the most egregious violations of human rights, encompassing physical, psychological, sexual, social, and economic harm. Such violence is deeply rooted in and facilitated by societal and cultural values, structures and practices. It is a complex issue to litigate internationally, involving private actors, requiring the knowledge of the authorities, and always entrenched in multi-layered gender-based discrimination, if not intersectional discrimination.
EHRAC Guide to Litigating Cases of Violence Against Women is intended to assist lawyers in making these legal arguments at the international level, addresses contexts of domestic and sexual violence, and is aimed at practitioners with some experience of litigating these issues and/or of litigating internationally. It provides guidance on drafting particular elements of the core legal arguments that are likely to form the basis for many of these cases.
The Guide is by no means exhaustive and does not address the specific facts of any case or provisions of domestic law. The primary focus is on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) and the violations as framed within the Convention, however reference is also made to the standards established by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (the CEDAW Committee), as well as other international mechanisms and conventions.