#Europe: Poland’s Constitutional Court To Probe Istanbul Convention

By Amechi Idumuebor (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Thursday he is asking his country’s top constitutional court to study Europe’s Istanbul Convention against domestic violence before his right-wing government decides whether to exit the pact.

The government has described the treaty as “ideologically tainted” and Morawiecki has said the convention raised “serious doubts,” indicating he was leaning toward exiting the convention.

An initiative of the Council of Europe – the continent’s leading human rights organization – the Istanbul Convention is billed as a key international treaty to combat violence against women and domestic violence. It states that men and women have equal rights and obliges state authorities to take steps to prevent violence against women, protect victims and prosecute perpetrators

Poland’s previous liberal government ratified it in 2015. Critics of the convention say that it is not in line with Poland’s legal system, wrongly identifies the sources of violence against women and fails to provide effective tools for fighting domestic violence. The government also believes the convention wrongly links religion to violence, and Morawiecki insisted that Poland’s own legislation already offers strong protection to domestic violence victims.

The convention, which came into force in 2014, has been signed by 45 European countries and the European Union, but 10 countries — including Britain, Hungary, Slovenia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic — have yet to ratify it.

Agenda Watchdog

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