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Implementation of the Istanbul Convention in Poland and Germany – workshop

Data: 23.03.2023 - 24.03.2023
Miejsce: Poznań, Polska Akademia Nauk, Pałac Działyńskich, Stary Rynek 78
Organizator: Jagiellonian University Krakow, Faculty of International and Political Studies, Poland
Universität Potsdam – MenschenRechtsZentrum, Germany
Institute of Law Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences - Poznan Human Rights Centre, Poland
Kontakt: Dr. Wojciech Burek,

Adopted in 2011 in Istanbul, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (hereinafter: Istanbul Convention) is one of the newest human rights treaties. Poland acceded to the Istanbul Convention in 2015 and Germany, a few years later in 2018. Consequently, the Istanbul Convention is relatively new to the legal systems of Poland and Germany.

Most experts in the field of human rights and the prevention of violence against women and the protection of its victims agree that such a comprehensive convention is undoubtedly groundbreaking for the strengthening of international human rights protection, establishing an innovative so-called gold standard for combating violence against women, including domestic violence. At the same time, however, it is a human rights treaty that is seen as controversial and even dangerous in many states and has therefore received unprecedented attention from the political arena, the media, and the public in those states. Among these countries (including Turkey, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic) there is also Poland, where the current authorities have even taken formal steps that may lead to a decision similar to the one taken in Turkey in 2021, i.e., denunciation of the Istanbul Convention. It seems, however, that the controversies in these states are not so much due to the convention's provisions as a combination of global trends, manifested in the form of extreme conservatism, populism, and anti-democratic changes. The Istanbul Convention itself (and more broadly: the problem of gender equality) serves primarily as a "scapegoat" and is being used instrumentally in the political game.

The three circumstances mentioned above, i.e. 1) the complexity and innovativeness of the Istanbul Convention in terms of combating and counteracting violence against women and domestic violence, 2) the relatively short period of the Convention's implementation in both states, 3) the controversies connected with it, combined with its instrumental use in many states, justify the need for a factual academic discussion on its implementation and the impact it has had on the legal systems of interest to us (Polish and German). A comparative approach will allow us to broaden the perspective, get away from strictly national optics, and thus - we hope - present an objective picture of the situation.

To realize the above intentions, we are organizing a 2-day scientific seminar, during which several papers will be presented on many detailed issues. The seminar will result in a scientific monograph, which we plan to publish in the fall of 2023.

Pliki do pobrania
the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence and the map of Europe