Published: 17 Jul 2018 | By Emily Campbell
Angela González Carreño v Spanish Ministry of Justice
Case No. 1263/2018
Date of judgment: 17 July 2018
The applicant, Angela Gonzalez, is a survivor of domestic violence by her former husband. In 1999, she fled the family home with her daughter Andrea, then aged three. Between 1999 and 2001, Angela lodged no fewer than 30 complaints against her husband to the police for threatening and physically abusing her. On 24 April 2003, following a court hearing on the matter, Angela’s husband “approached her and told her that he was going [to] take away what mattered most to her”, according to Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) documents on the case. During a court-ordered but unsupervised visitation of Andrea by her father later that day, he murdered her and then committed suicide. Angela challenged the lack of adequate protection for her daughter and her before the Spanish courts, but her case was dismissed. She took her case to CEDAW, which in 2014 found that the actions of the Spanish state amounted to gender-based discrimination and a violation of Angela’s human rights (CEDAW Communication No. 47/2012). Among other recommendations, CEDAW recommended that Spain pay Angela compensation. For over four years following the CEDAW decision, Spain refused to comply with the Committee’s findings, citing the absence of domestic mechanisms which would enable the application of international decisions domestically.