Women and Justice: Keywords


Loi No. 2010-769 du 9 Juilet 2010 relative aux violences faites spécifiquement aux femmes, aux violences au sein des couples et aux incidences de ces dernières sur les enfants (Domestic violence and effects on children) (2010)

Domestic and intimate partner violence, Gender-based violence in general

Article 8 of the law amended the French Civil Code provisions regarding parental custody. Specifically, it included harassment or violence, whether physical or psychological, by one parent against the other among the factors in custody determinations. Article 31 of the law amended the French Criminal Code as follows: (i) it clarified that psychological violence falls within the scope of violence against the person; and (ii) it introduced a penal offense when the harassment of one’s spouse or partner results in a degradation of that spouse’s or partner’s physical or mental health.

Article 8 modifie les provisions du Code Civile Français qui adresse la garde des enfants. En particulier, l’article inclut le harassement ou la violence, physique ou psychologique, par un parent contre un autre comme un facteur a considéré durant la détermination de la garde d’un enfant. Article 31 modifie le Code Civile Français de deux manières : (i) cela clarifie que la violence psychologique est un type de violence contre un individu ; et (ii) cela introduit une offense pénale quand le harcèlement d’un conjoint, d’un partenaire lié par un pacte civil de solidarité, ou d’un concubin aboutit à la dégradation de leur santé physique ou mentale.

Zakon o Sprečavanju Nasilja u Porodici (Law on the Prevention of Family Violence) (2016)

Domestic and intimate partner violence, Sexual violence and rape

The LPDV has a broad definition of domestic violence which includes violence between both cohabiting and non-cohabiting partners. The LPDV is gender-neutral in approach. Police powers include the ability to issue restraining orders and temporary or emergency eviction notices that can be extended by up to 30 days. Violations of such orders carry penalties of up to 60 days in prison. The LPDV also imposes a new duty on the public prosecutor’s office to maintain a central register of domestic violence cases. Victims of domestic violence also have the right to free legal aid.

Domestic Case Law

M v. M High Court of New Zealand (2005)

Sexual violence and rape, Domestic and intimate partner violence

This case concerns the Domestic Violence Act of 1995. Appellant sent emails, faxes, and oral communications to politicians and others, claiming that the respondent, her brother, raped her when she was 11. In Family Court, the judge concluded that the allegation of rape was unfounded and that appellant’s purpose for the communications was to shame the respondent and ruin his reputation, amounting to harassment or psychological abuse. The judge issued a protection order pursuant to the Domestic Violence Act of 1995, prohibiting appellant from further communications alleging the rape. On appeal, it was contended that, 1) the family court judge wrongly found that appellant’s behavior constituted psychological abuse or harassment, and 2) that the special conditions imposed in the protection order were unduly broad, infringing upon the appellant’s freedom of expression under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act (NZBORA). The High Court rejected the first ground of appeal. As to the second, the High Court read the Domestic Violence Act narrowly, saying that the legislature could not have intended to pass a bill that would conflict with the NZBORA. The High Court would modify the Family Court Judge’s protection order only to qualify that appellant is not precluded from discussing the matter with other family members, attorneys, or law enforcement, thereby preserving her rights under NZBORA. The High Court also approved a Constitutional Court holding that the right of freedom of expression extends to a woman’s right to use her own name in connection with her status as a victim of sexual abuse.