strucni sastanak 15 decThe Autonomous Women's Center organized an expert meeting that discussed the harmonization of the Criminal code of the Republic of Serbia with the standards of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, which was ratified in 2013. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Republic Public Prosecutor's Office, the Higher Public Prosecutor's Office from Belgrade and Novi Sad, the Office of the Protector of Citizens, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Serbia - the Secretariat in Belgrade (III Departments) and the National Criminal and Technical Center, the Institute for Mother and Child, UNDP agency.

The Compliance Study of the Criminal code with the Council of Europe Convention was presented. It was emphasized that the amendments made in 2016 made important but partial adjustments to the Convention and that it was necessary to continue this process. Therefore, the conclusion of the Council for the implementation of the Action Plan for Chapter 23 (Report 4/2016) could not be accepted, stating that the activity of amending the Criminal code was fully implemented in accordance with the provisions of the Convention.

In the discussion that followed, the need to improve and harmonize the legal framework with the standards of the Convention was not disputable, although it was stated that this international treaty can be directly applied, which is not the case in the judicial system in Serbia.

It was concluded that there is a need for further amendments to the Criminal code in order to comply with the standards of the Convention, which must be approached systematically and comprehensively, but that there is a need for better and harmonized application of existing laws, better co-operation of competent services, specialization and a greater number of practitioners, laws and its effects.

The Autonomous Women's Center will continue to organize consultations, the exchange of ideas and networking of experts, including efforts to compile proposals for amending the Criminal code that would meet the standards of the Convention, on one hand, and the requirements of the practice, on the other.