EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM OF MONTENEGRO – ABOUT THE PROJECT

Centre for Monitoring and Research CeMI is realizing project “Equal access to justice in criminal justice system of Montenegro” along with NGO Juventas and Montenegrin Queer LGBTQ Association with the support of Open Society Institute from Budapest.

The EU Report on progress of Montenegro in the process of EU integration states that limited progress at the level of respect of human rights and basic freedoms was achieved. There is a gap between the legal framework and implementation of the standard for respect of human rights in the practice of the agency for the implementation of laws and in judicial practice. These circumstances have greater impact on specific marginalized categories of population that are prevented from achieving full access to fundamental human rights. European Commission has determined that marginalized categories are mostly affected by the lack of protection and strengthening of human rights. According to the available data, marginalized categories face different types of problems in criminal justice system –from the unequal access to justice to inability for their adequate healing in prisons and other penal institutions. Invisibility of vulnerable groups is the main reason for their threatened position in justice system of Montenegro that mirrors through limitation of their rights and establishing of the practice that violates fundamental principles of justice which causes discrimination based on social status in domestic justice (direct discrimination) or equal treatment in different circumstances based on specific status of an individual (indirect discrimination). Therefore, there is a possibility of violation of fundamental principles of criminal proceedings and international standards for fair trial that guarantees equality of law of both sides in the dispute in all cases.

The project is focused on two aspects, partly identified in previous studies, or based on previous experience in providing services by project partners to the most marginalized groups:

  1. Violation of human rights and discrimination of persons with intellectual and psychosocial difficulties and persons that use psychoactive substances, in the framework of justice system of Montenegro;
  2. Practice of inadequate healing and discrimination of people with intellectual and psychosocial difficulties and LGBTQ population in closed institutions.

Target groups of the project within the justice institutions and other similar closed institutions are:

  1. People with intellectual and psychosocial difficulties
  2. Users of psychoactive substances
  3. LGBTQ Population

Overall objective is the contribution to the increase of the level of respect of human rights in Montenegro. Specific aim of the project is the contribution to the decrease of the level of violation of human rights and discrimination of marginalized groups in Montenegro through collecting data and evidences based on cases from court practice.

Expected results  refer to evaluation of violation of human rights and discrimination of persons with intellectual and psychosocial difficulties and users of psychoactive substances within criminal justice system of Montenegro, then evaluation of practices of inadequate healing and discrimination of persons with intellectual and psychosocial difficulties and LGBTQ population in other closed institutions and at the end , recommendations to national authorities for the improvement of justice in criminal justice system that will be advocated and conducted.

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