SAN JUAN – As part of the affirmative actions adopted by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Maite Oronoz Rodríguez, to guarantee the proper handling of cases of gender violence, this Tuesday the recommendations of the Judicial Advisory Council (Advisory Council) aimed at optimize judicial enforcement in these cases.
“The attention to cases of gender violence does not admit of delay. It is an urgent matter that requires all of us to act at once and without excuses, ”Oronoz Rodríguez said in a written statement.
Like the Presiding Judge, the Advisory Council recognized that gender violence is a serious social problem in Puerto Rico and throughout the world that represents a brutal manifestation of inequality between women and men. Through an act, it also indicates that it can only be eradicated by promoting equity to break harmful relations of power and inequality and recognizes the incidence of femicides in Puerto Rico.
In addition, the Advisory Council indicates that it is aware of the indications to the Judicial Power regarding the handling of cases in which gender violence is alleged and details a series of concrete actions that it will take.
The recommended actions include supporting the management of the working group appointed by the Presiding Judge to carry out an evaluation similar to that carried out in other jurisdictions in the United States and the world and is called Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team, ensure that cases of gender violence are addressed with priority and sensitivity by the courts of Puerto Rico and create a Network of Coordinating Judges and Coordinating Judges of Gender Violence Issues.
In addition, the agency confirmed that they will establish continuous evaluation mechanisms to identify deficiencies in any judicial process and will implement the necessary corrective measures.
It will also seek to strengthen the mechanisms for dialogue and collaboration with the people, groups or entities that participate in judicial processes related to cases of gender violence, especially those that make up the State’s public security apparatus – that is, the Department of Justice, the Puerto Rico Police and the Judiciary–, in order to identify failures and areas of opportunity for correction and strengthening, with work plans defined by goals to be addressed in the short, medium and long term.
The Judicial Advisory Council is made up of the Assistant Administrative Director of the Courts, the Administrative Judge of the Court of Appeals, and the Administrative Judges and Regional Administrative Judges of the thirteen judicial regions.
Its purpose is to advise the Presiding Judge and the Administrative Director of the Courts on matters of administration of the judicial system.
“Although eradicating gender violence requires concerted actions from all sectors and from different spheres, the administration of the Judicial Power will assume the responsibility of acting to improve the handling of these cases. In addition, we will render accounts to the Country for the implementation of these actions ”, concluded the Presiding Judge.