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The Minister of Justice Kristen Michal replied to the interpellation concerning frequency of the crime of intimate partner violence (No 6), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Marianne Mikko, Indrek Saar, Andres Anvelt, Karel Rüütli, Kajar Lember, Sven Mikser and Helmen Kütt on 2 May.
 
Marianne Mikko who spoke on behalf of the interpellators pointed out by concrete examples the need to solve the problems quickly.
 
In Michal’s words, addressing family violence continues to be a priority for the Ministry of Justice as well as other ministries, state authorities, local governments and non-governmental organisations. He explained that, previous spring, the Government had approved the development plan for reducing violence for 2010‒2014. This plan indicates, among other things, concrete steps to be taken for family violence prevention, for helping the victims and with regard to perpetrators of violence. Michal said that the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Police and Border Guard Administration and citizens’ associations are also responsible for these activities, besides the Ministry of Justice. The Minister of Justice noted that the issues relating to the victims receive great attention throughout Europe. He said that, in May, proposals had been submitted in the European Commission which will create the grounds for victim protection in the European Union so that victims could be sure that they will be offered help and support if they fall victim to crime in any European Union country.
 
In Michal’s words, in order to reduce family violence, the Ministry of Justice has taken steps to prepare a practical handbook which will advise how to recognise and help a victim of family violence. According to a preliminary plan, the guiding material had been intended for specialists at local governments but the discussions held so far have led to an understanding that this guideline could be addressed to a much wider target group. The guiding material is based on a study mapping the risks facilitating the spread of family violence, commissioned by the University of Tartu.
 
Michal assured that completion of the proceedings of the cases as quickly as possibly is in the interest of the victim and speeding up the proceedings is one of the short-term priorities of the Ministry of Justice. “The development objectives of criminal policy set a goal that judicial proceedings in offences against the person involving a victim who is a minor should not exceed three months. Today, judicial proceedings in the matters involving victims who are minors are completed in 4.8 months on the average. Generally, the police needs 3.3 months for the proceedings and the prosecutor’s office 1.5 months. As a matter of fact, proceedings in physical abuse matters where the victim is a minor and which often are indeed cases of family violence are completed within 4.6 months,” explained the Minister of Justice.
In his opinion, the average duration of court proceedings will be shortened by the amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure which will help ensure adjudication of cases within a reasonable period of time. “As regards actual work with perpetrators of violence, then a rehabilitation programme has been created for perpetrators of family violence who have been convicted of crimes of violence and it will implemented both in the probation and the prison system starting from this autumn,” noted Michal.
 
The Minister of Justice also replied to the interpellation concerning compliance with provisions of legislation by the Government of the Republic (No 17), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Heljo Pikhof, Indrek Saar, Helmen Kütt, Andres Anvelt, Kalev Kotkas, Urve Palo, Marianne Mikko and Karel Rüütli on 18 May.
 
The Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder replied to the interpellation concerning the maintenance support for land improvement systems (No 10), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Kalev Kotkas, Neeme Suur, Sven Mikser, Heljo Pikhof, Andres Anvelt, Jevgeni Ossinovski, Helmen Kütt, Karel Rüütli, Rein Randver and Kajar Lember on 5 May, and the interpellation concerning food price rise and the European Union Common Agricultural Policy (No 18), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Ester Tuiksoo, Inara Luigas, Vladimir Velman, Priit Toobal, Marika Tuus, Mailis Reps, Aivar Riisalu, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Valeri Korb, Lauri Laasi, Enn Eesmaa, Eldar Efendijev, Tarmo Tamm, Rainer Vakra, Viktor Vassiljev and Yana Toom on 18 May.
 
During the open microphone, Heimar Lenk took the floor.
 
The Riigikogu Press Service
 
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