Uruguay: Gender violence and the judicial system

Montevideo, January 28, 2013 (SEMlac Special). - The Supreme Court of Justice has decided to support gender justice at home, a long-standing demand by 104 local feminist and women’s organizations.

Before the Court ruling came in late 2012, these organizations had reviewed the national and international legislation, as well as the judgments delivered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights along these lines.

A Commission report had addressed the serious problem of domestic violence in Uruguay and the obstacles that women were facing to accede to judicial remedies and seek protection.

The Commission had also urged the Uruguayan State to adopt further measures to guarantee women’s rights and effectively fight discrimination and violence.


A new mechanism

The Supreme Court ruling establishes a mechanism to prevent women from having to face their assailants in court. This is particularly relevant in the countryside.

"Juvenile victims will never have to confront their abusers,” said Marina Morelli, a lawyer who represented the women’s organizations.


Comprehensive resolution

“The Court has supported us: judges will need to resolve cases in a comprehensive manner, under single procedures,” she added.

“Domestic violence cases should be taken to criminal courts,” she stressed.


Justice administration

The ruling also establishes the adoption of effective precautionary measures and ways to redress any judicial practice that violates and/or fails to comply with the standards in force.

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