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The threshold of State Accountability: Case of Kontrová v. Slovakia

When the State has legislated its duty to prevent and protect people from violence, it is saying "We shall be legally responsible for their protection."

But its the lawyers who make the State accountable. State may not have a self-accountability mechanism nor is not motivated to hold its self-accountable.

Under international and national Laws: the State has to “exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate, prosecute and punish such non-state officials or private actors”.

State and its officials are accountable as:

"Authors, complicit or otherwise responsible under the law for consenting to or acquiescing in such impermissible acts”.

The State’s responsibility to carry out due diligence can be said to be applied at two levels:

(1) The state’s responsibility for a failure of due diligence also arises in relation to the state not having in place laws and policies to prevent violence.

(2) In relation to the crime, what did the state do or not do to ensure accountability, to prevent, investigate and prosecute the crime? Was this reasonable given the circumstances of the particular case?

"For a positive obligation to arise, it must be established that the authorities knew of or ought to have known at the time of the existence of a real and immediate risk to the life of an identified individual from the criminal acts of a third party and that they failed to take measures within the scope of their powers which, judged reasonably, might have been expected to avoid that risk." Kontrová v. Slovakia

We are working closely with Medica Afghanistan's lawyers in their pioneering work to hold the State accountable in cases of violence against women. If you have judgments and articles to share or if you are happy to join us in our seminars, do connect with us here, and visit Medica Afghanistan's crowd-funding platform here to help survivors receive prompt medical attention.

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