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EU-wide compensation for victims of willful violence


ECJ: Italy must not limit compensation to certain acts
Victims of violence must receive adequate compensation across the EU. The member states must not limit this compensation to certain crimes, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg (Az .: C-601/14) ruled on Tuesday, October 11, 2016. After that, Italy implemented the EU requirements insufficiently.

According to an EU directive from 2004, victims of deliberate acts of violence are entitled to "just and adequate compensation", regardless of the location of the crime and the origin of the victim. This is intended to strengthen and protect free movement within the EU.

There are various special laws in Italy that promise victim compensation. However, these laws relate to certain types of deliberate violence, particularly terrorism and organized crime. Other serious physical crime, rape and other serious sexual assaults are left out.

With its lawsuit, the EU Commission accuses Italy of not fulfilling its obligations under EU law.

The ECJ now upheld the complaint. "The directive obliges the Member States to enact national regulations to protect the free movement of persons in the Union, which in these cases guarantee fair and adequate minimum compensation for the victims of all acts of violence committed intentionally at home," said the Luxembourg judge. Citizens from other EU countries should not be disadvantaged.

It is true that the member states themselves are more likely to flesh out the term “intentional violence”. "However, you cannot limit the scope of the victim compensation scheme to only certain deliberate acts of violence."

The Luxembourg judges are thus leaving it open whether the victim compensation must also include psychological violence.

The Victim Compensation Act in Germany presupposes an "intentional, unlawful physical attack". According to previous case law of the Federal Social Court (BSG) in Kassel, this can also be deliberate physical attacks by children; the perpetrators' age is not important (judgment of 8 November 2007, file number: B 9 / 9a VG 3/06 R).

The BSG has also broadly defined the term "assault" as possible. In this way, at least relatives can get compensation if they are only witnesses to an act of violence and thereby suffer a psychological shock (judgment of November 7, 2001, file number: B 9 VG 2/01 R). Victims of child abuse do not have to explain the course of the crime and thus the use of physical violence in the narrower sense (judgment and JurAgentur announcement of November 18, 2015, ref .: B 9 V 1/14 R).

In a case of severe stalking, however, the BSG decided that the wording of the law excludes compensation for pure psychological violence (judgment and JurAgentur announcement of April 7, 2011, ref .: B 9 VG 2/10 R). The same applies to the pure threat with a firearm (judgment and JurAgentur announcement from December 16, 2014, ref .: B 9 V 1/13 R).

In addition to social reasons, the compensation for victims of violence is justified with the state's monopoly on violence. After that, possession and use of weapons are restricted. Citizens may only use violence in self-defense. In return, the state promises to protect its citizens from violence. And he pays compensation if he couldn't keep that promise. mwo / fle

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