RANGE AND SCOPE OF THE DEFINITION OF STALKING FROM THE ISTANBUL
CONVENTION IN NATIONAL LEGISLATION IN BiH A PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS
With the adoption of the new Criminal Code in 2017, the Republic of Srpska introduced a new criminal offence, with the aim of harmonizing criminal protection from gender-based violence with the standards contained in the Istanbul Convention. One of them is the crime of stalking. In this paper, we analyse whether formal legal protection against gender-based violence has improved in the Republic of Srpska with the introduction of this criminal offence and compare this crime with the same or similar crimes in the criminal laws of states in the Balkan region and other political-territorial units in BiH. We pay particular attention to the crimes of endangering security, and sexual harassment. We are especially interested in the Federation of BiH, given that this entity does not prescribe an adequate criminal offence in its criminal law in the light of the requirements of the Istanbul Convention (ratified by BiH), but also taking into account the fact that the Convention does not detail the essential features of the nature of the crime of stalking. Based on best comparative practices, and taking into account the jurisdiction of international forums, we will give some proposals de lege ferenda. The paper also includes a specific insight into the criminal offences of stalking and endangering security, which exist in the relevant criminal laws in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and which will serve to prove our hypothesis more reliably. The paper will have a strong gender-based approach, but, to the extent necessary, systemic shortcomings in the prosecution of the crime of endangering security will also be shown in auxiliary categories, e.g. vis-a-vis journalists, as the safety of female journalists is often under attack.
Keywords: Bosnia and Herzegovina, stalking, legislation, gender-based violence, Istanbul Convention.
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