Throughout this knowledge module, reference to certain provisions or sections of a piece of legislation, part of a legal judgment, or aspect of a practice does not imply that the legislation, judgment, or practice is considered in its entirety to be a good example or a promising practice.

Some of the laws cited herein may contain provisions which authorize the death penalty. In light of the United Nations General Assembly resolutions 62/14963/16865/206, and 67/176 calling for a moratorium on and ultimate abolition of capital punishment, the death penalty should not be included in sentencing provisions for crimes of violence against women and girls.

Other Provisions Related to Domestic Violence LawsResources for Developing Legislation on Domestic Violence
Sexual Harassment in Sport Tools for Drafting Sexual Harassment Laws and Policies
Immigration Provisions Resources for developing legislation on sex trafficking of women and girls
Child Protection Provisions Resources on Forced and Child Marriage
Other provisions related to dowry-related and domestic violence laws
Related Tools

Duties of prosecutors

Last edited: January 28, 2011

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The UN Handbook sets forth minimum recommendations with regard to the duties of prosecutors in prosecuting cases of violence against women:

  • Establish that responsibility for prosecuting these cases lies with prosecution authorities, not victims;
  • Require that victims, at all relevant stages of the legal process, be promptly and adequately informed, in a language they understand of:
    • Their rights,
    • Details of the relevant legal proceedings,
    • Available services, support mechanisms and protective measures,
    • Opportunities for obtaining restitution and compensation through the legal system,
    • Details of their case’s proceedings, such as hearings,
    • Release of the perpetrator from pre-trial detention or from jail, and
  • Require that any prosecutor who discontinues a case of violence against women explain to the victim why the case was dropped.

Where states have not created a specific offence of forced marriage, drafters should ensure that these duties are still applicable to other crimes perpetrated in the course of forcing someone to marry, such as rape, sexual crimes, kidnapping, child abduction, false imprisonment, assault, battery, threats of violence or death, breach of the peace or conduct that disrupts the public order, harassment, child abuse, blackmail, and violations of protection orders.

Tools for Prosecutors:

Presentation by Nazir Ofbal, UK Crown Prosecution Service, Presentation at the Second Annual Conference on Honor Violence and Forced Marriage (2012)

Interactive Website on Honour Based Violence and Forced Marriage (UK Crown Prosecution Service)

Honor Violence and Forced Marriage Training Curriculum (Powerpoint) (Webinar video) (The Aha Foundation, 2011)

CPS Pilot Study on Forced Marriage and So-Called ‘Honor’ Crime—Findings (2008). Available in English.

CPS Recommendations on Future Work on Forced Marriage and So-Called “Honour” Crime (2008). Available in English.

For more information see also Justice Sector.