Details

  • Service: Advisory
  • Type: KPMG information
  • Date: 12/18/2013

Victims of domestic violence benefit from reduction in court fees  

In Zimbabwe, women and girls have improved access to justice as a result of the Forum’s successful advocacy campaign to increase the jurisdiction of Magistrate courts and to reduce court fees in civil cases. This enables victims to bring cases of domestic violence and other related offenses to court more easily, giving them better control of their lives.
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Key elements of context

 

Over the years women, who constitute the majority of the poor, have been marginalized and prejudiced of opportunities to accessing justice through the courts. They have faced cost deterrents in procuring legal representation and paying for court processes. High unemployment, minimal disposable incomes and living below the poverty datum line, with a family of 5 requiring about $571 per month, has deterred most from seeking justice from the courts. Court fees in domestic violence issues involved about £3.12, filing of a case also involved about £3.12. For urgent matters, for instance when urgent court interventions are required filing required £6. The frequency with which domestic violence cases erupt in one household meant that most women would be deterred from pursuing justice. The project lobbied for the removal or reduction of these court fees to enable access to justice for women principally, and all victims of domestic violence.