Femicide and Criminal Law Reaction: Case-Law of the European Court of Human Rights





femicide, criminal law, domestic violence, European Court of Human Rights


In recent decades, the scientific and professional public have been intensively dealing with the phenomenon of femicide as the most extreme type of gender based violence. At the moment, it is indisputable that states have a number of complex obligations to which they must adequately respond when it comes to protecting women's lives. Thus, the question naturally arises as to what form of criminal law reaction requires the gender-motivated murder of a woman, and whether it is necessary to introduce a special incrimination that would refer exclusively to femicide. Having in mind the above, the paper is designed so that after some general considerations on the concept and nature of femicide, an analysis of the positive legal framework related to the murder of women in Serbia follows. Referring to the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights in cases related to state failures in the field of guaranteeing the right to life, the author concludes that adequate protection can also be achieved within the legal system that does not incriminate murder of women as a special crime femicide, but only if there is an effective system for preventing and sanctioning gender-based violence and discriminatory treatment of women. The normative dogmatic method has been applied with an analytical-synthetic approach, while the aim of the paper is to formulate recommendations for improving the legislative framework and practice.


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How to Cite

Kovačević, M. (2022). Femicide and Criminal Law Reaction: Case-Law of the European Court of Human Rights. KULTURA POLISA, 19(2), 147–169. https://doi.org/10.51738/Kpolisa2022.19.2p.147k