Supreme Court must protect women on trial: ICJR
The Jakarta Post
A Jakarta-based activist group, the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR), has demanded that the Supreme Court (MA) improve its handling of cases involving women, citing the lack of implementation of an existing regulation.
“The MA should evaluate whether the regulation has been implemented by lower and high court judges in provinces across the country,” the ICJR’s Maidina Rahmawati said on Sunday as quoted by kompas.com.
She was referring to a 2017 Supreme Court Regulation on procedures for handling cases related to women.
The regulation stipulates that a judge must assess, among others, the possible lack of legal protection and discriminatory access to justice and psychological factors of women facing trial, as well as a gender power structure surrounding them.
She criticized the court for focusing too much on efforts to familiarize judges with the regulation, but failed to make these judges understand the real issue of discrimination the women were potentially facing at court.
“Training for judges is also essential to let them know how to examine such cases thoroughly and to consider all available factors, including the background of a case,” she said.
Her statement came in light of the controversial conviction of a 15-year-old girl in Jambi last month who was sentenced to six months in jail for aborting her pregnancy after being raped by her own brother.
The verdict against the teenage rape victim sparked criticism from human rights activists who believed that her trial was flawed, mainly due to the fact that both the victim and the perpetrator were represented by the same lawyer in two different cases, for abortion and sexual assault. (ipa)
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