Criminal Enforcement

Criminal Enforcement in Europe

Criminal Answer to Violence Against Women Study Upon Criminal Enforcement in Bizkaia

Enara Garro Carrera, from the Universidad del País Vasco, made a contribution to the 2012 Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, in the category “Punishment and its alternatives,” under the title “Criminal Answer to Violence Against Women Study Upon Criminal Enforcement in Bizkaia”. Here is the abstract: Within the last 15 years violence against women has evolved from just being a private issue to a serious social concern. A new Act pushing ahead an integral package of juridical measures against gender violence (Ley de Medidas de protección integral frente a la violencia de género LIVG) was considered a turning point for the legal answer to this problem. Amongst other steps forward, the mentioned Act against Gender Violence recognised the full complexity of this phenomenon. According to the new Law gender violence is now taken seriously as a long back standing problem resulting out from the historical discrimination suffered by women. The Act against Gender Violence assumes a global vision that includes a full range of perspectives from an educative, social, public health approach to a legal one. However, having into account this global understanding, the real regulation of the law, as usual, underlines too much a legal criminal approach, resorting to punishment as main tool against sexist violence. The new Act against Gender Violence increases the severity of the penal system in this field following similar developments which took place in the past within the context of two different criminal reforms implemented in 1999 and 2003. As a result, all these legal reforms have put the criminal system under a very serious pressure. Therefore, it is necessary to check the real enforcement of this new provisions not only searching for the amount of criminal records but analysing in detail which are exactly the charges against the offender, the type of crime involved and the kind of penalties issued by the Judges. Moreover: it is time to go an step further in order to check whether penalties are really enforced or, by the contrary, probation, substitution or similar institutions come into play. With that purpose an empirical research has been conducted, collecting all the convictions issued by Judges (Juzgados de los Penal) in Bizkaia during 2009 and 2010. This abstract aims to present the first wave of results which include from the very beginning a quite accurate picture of the real answer to sexist violence by means of criminal law.

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Further Reading

  • “Criminal Answer to Violence Against Women Study Upon Criminal Enforcement in Bizkaia”, by Enara Garro Carrera (Proceedings)

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