The obligatory training of the magistrates who preside over the specialized courts of Violence against Women, for almost a decade is solved with a course online and 10 days of internship in judicial offices or shelters, 50 total hours of teaching. With the change being negotiated by the Congress of Deputies, backed unanimously, gender violence becomes a legal specialty like Mercantil or Minors, according to the document of the paper, which this newspaper has had access to. This means that, after winning the opposition and exercising two years, they must pass a selective test that requires preparing a specific agenda with dozens of topics and a wider practical phase. In Mercantil, for example, the last call included 84 subjects of study, whose preparation requires between one and two years, according to the judicial sources consulted.
The training of magistrates at the head of the specialized and mixed courts that deal with sexist violence has been in the spotlight for a long time. International organizations such as the General Assembly of the United Nations have requested that it be modified. It is also regularly recalled by the prosecutor responsible for Gender Violence, Pilar Martín Nájera, who has denounced "the lack of a gender perspective in the assessment of the circumstances of crimes against women." Some of the experts in the phase also complained about it. of debate for the elaboration of the State Pact against Gender Violence, which included this change in the preparation of judicial officers as one of the priorities.
The last machista murders have questioned this formation. The president of the High Court of Justice of the Basque Country, Juan Luis Ibarra, asked for forgiveness, after the case of a woman who died at the hands of her husband, for the poor assessment of the risk that the different services that concur in the court, where The judge denied the protection requested by the murdered woman because she could not count on it to do so with an expert report of the risk In Castellón, a father allegedly killed his daughters that same September 25. The judge denied months before a protection order (which the prosecutor also opposed) to her and her daughters.
The mandatory training so far for these magistrates, approved in 2009, involves passing a course with theoretical and practical contents of 50 teaching hours supervised by a tutor, according to judicial sources. They are 10 days of practice, with eight of stay in judicial bodies and two assistance resources, such as shelters or social services. And it is completed with a course on-line of 16 hours with two obligatory practical cases evaluated also by the tutor.
This course is passed in just a couple of weeks, the time that elapses since the judge is appointed and takes possession of his new position. Although it is difficult to calculate how long an aspiring specialist can take with the new model, the sources consulted indicate that those who now specialize in Mercantil or Minors employ between one and two years. The specialization of Mercantil, for example, supposes to overcome a theoretical and oral exercise in which the aspirant must defend three subjects of a subject of 84 and also pass a practical exercise. Afterwards, he will have to do internships for seven weeks in the Judicial School, in the First Chamber of the Supreme Court and in various specialized bodies in Spain.
The change will modify the Organic Law of the Judiciary. The forecast is that the changes are in progress as of September, although the period of application may vary, according to those consulted.
More judged and more intimacy
The paper that has been agreed by the deputies must now go through the Justice Commission and later through the plenary session of the Congress. The text also provides for the specialization of the Criminal Courts, an aspect that has not been developed despite being already included in the Law of the Judiciary, which states that "one or more courts in each province" must specialize. Of the 345 existing criminal courts, only 26 are specialized, barely a quarter of the 100 that requested the rule.
One of the last amendments included calls on the General Council of the Judiciary to study "the need or lack" of dependencies that prevent victims and perpetrators from crossing during judicial proceedings. And it proposes endowing the courts with audiovisual means that prevent victims from having to "repeat the statements". These safeguards are extendable to cases of sexual assault and trafficking.