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Franco-Jordanian experts review judicial treatment of domestic violence victims

By Rana Husseini - Apr 10,2018 - Last updated at Apr 10,2018

AMMAN — Minister of Justice Awad Abu Jarad on Tuesday stressed the Kingdom’s commitment to ensure just treatment for women and children victims of domestic violence.

The minister’s remarks came during a two-day workshop on the “Judicial treatment of violence against women and children” held by the Jordanian Judicial Institute (JJI) in cooperation with the French embassy and the French Judicial Institute.

“Jordan is committed to ensuring equal opportunities, social justice and total respect to human rights values, including safeguarding the legal rights of women and children,” Abu Jarad said, noting that many people who commit violations against women and children “do so claiming it is part of religion or culture”.

“This is neither right nor true. That is why we insist on protecting women and children in our society through good justice practice and procedures,” he added.

Since 2008, and with support from Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania, the judiciary sector took several steps to introduce laws and procedures that protect the rights of women and children, the minister pointed out.

President of the JJI Thaer Udwan stressed Jordan's "deep interest in gender rights", noting that the Kingdom has introduced several laws that protect the rights of families in recent years.

“Jordan was one of the leading countries that signed several international conventions related to women and children and has been abiding by their rulings in Jordanian courts,” Udwan stressed.

French Ambassador to Jordan David Bertolotti stressed the importance of the event as “justice is a reflection of society in every problem. It is therefore important that we address such issues without fearing any taboos or social restrictions”.

He highlighted the need “to tackle judicial reforms and exchange experiences with the French judiciary”, saying “We have always encouraged a justice free of discrimination to ensure equality for all Jordanian people.” 

The Regional Attache of Justice Cooperation at the French embassy,  Fabrice Durand, told The Jordan Times that the event is "an important opportunity to develop judicial training in specific areas and find ways to improve the treatment of violence within the family".

Durand, who has served for 15 years in the French judiciary, said there is great interest from the Jordanian judicial and legal experts attending the event, adding “we want this training to be interactive by bringing the elements of both the Jordanian and French systems."

He voiced hope to see exchanges of good and effective practices in tackling violence against women and children.

“Although there are great differences in the family system and values between the two countries, I think that, beyond those differences, the basic issues of violence are the same in all countries and the basic approach has to be similar because we aim to help vulnerable people,” Durand explained.

Vice Prosecutor at the Paris Court of First Instance Judge Aude Duret said France has gone a long way in terms of protecting victims of domestic violence.

“In the 1960s, the judiciary considered violence acts as only the physical type that left traces on the victim’s body,” Duret told the gathering.

But today, she added, “France has expanded its understanding of violence against women and children and adopted laws that the people voted on. They are laws that protect individuals without taking into consideration religion or social value.”

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