July 18, 2016
Aleksandar

The government will propose Criminal Code amendments, stricter penalties, introduction of new criminal offenses, and laws against family and societal violence.

PM-designate Aleksandar Vucic announced this on Friday in Belgrade. At a meeting of a working group, he said a proposal would also be tabled to increase both the minimum and maximum penalties for criminal offenses such as rape, and rape of a child or a disabled person.

According to the proposal, sexual harassment and stalking will in the future be treated as criminal offenses, and attempts to perpetrate them will also be punishable.

The working group, that included ministers of police, justice and social affairs, police director, representatives of the prosecutor’s office, as well as civil society representatives, will be meeting regularly to work on solutions to fight against domestic violence, peer violence, but also hooliganism.

Vucic said that “a fierce showdown” with these forms of violence will now follow, and announced that new solutions proposed here could be in effect starting on January 1, 2017.

The prime minister emphasized that “justice is not the same everywhere for all” in this country – as there have been three long-term sentences handed down by a Novi Sad court, while in the town of Vranje, “rapists get six months in prison.”

A new law on protection against domestic violence has also been announced, as well as amendments to the Law on Free Legal Aid. These measures also envisaged legal regulation of cooperation between several departments at the local level.

“There has been no joint action between the police, the prosecution, education, health care and social welfare centers. That will be regulated by law, and we will also tackle the problem regarding human capacities,” said Vucic.

Specialized police groups have also been proposed, as well as another security measure meant to serve potential victims of violence – psycho-social treatment of perpetrators and monitoring of their behavior.

Justice Minister Nikola Selakovic said that the police and prosecutors will undergo special training in order to specialize for cases dealing with these types of violence.

“All the measures we plan aims to save lives,” Vucic said, adding:

“These are systemic things by which we need to clearly demonstrate to perpetrators of violence that Serbia is a modern country, building a society in which nobody has the right to endanger other people’s rights, and along with domestic violence, peer violence will be particularly dealt with.”

Source: B92