Change of the name
According to the new Ordinance on the internal organization of the Ministry of Justice since the October 2017, the Independent Service for Victim and Witness support has changed its name to the Service for Victim and Witness Support, and is organized under the Directorate for Criminal Law.
Financing NGOs – successful completion of the project activities
In 2017, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Croatia has for the first time financed civil society organizations in order to provide support to victims and witnesses in the counties of Croatia where there are no Victim and Witness Support Offices at the courts.
1 NGO was selected to conduct specialized education, and 5 NGOs were selected to provide emotional support and information, support at the courts, as well as psychosocial support and legal counseling to victims and witnesses in 5 counties of Croatia. Project activities were successfully completed at the end of 2017, and will be continued in the 2018, as a part of a new 3-year programme.
New 3-year programme – establishment of the NGO network for victim and witness support
In order to continue providing support to victims and witnesses in the counties of Croatia where there are no Victim and Witness Support Offices at the courts, Ministry of Justice announced the call for proposals in July 2017, for financing the establishment of a partnership of NGOs which would provide support during a 3-year programme – from 2018 to 2020.
The programme of the partnership of NGOs, titled: „NGO Network for Victim and Witness Support”, consisting of 11 NGOs, was selected and the contract has been signed in December, with the start of activities in January 2018. The Network will cover all 13 counties of Croatia in which there are no established Victim and Witness Support Offices at the courts, contributing significantly to the enhancement of the victim and witness support system in Croatia.
Individual needs assessment
In October 2017, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Croatia has delivered the Ordinance on provision of individual needs assessment, which defines the conditions and the method of making an individual assessment of the needs of victims of crime.
The victims’ needs assessment is to be conducted by all bodies of pre-trial and criminal proceedings (police officers, state attorneys and judges) which come into contact with the victim. These bodies may request the necessary information from other bodies, organizations and institutions providing assistance and support to victims of criminal offenses and in particular from the Victims and Witness Support Offices at the county courts where they are established. They shall also consider the recommendations of those same bodies, organizations and institutions (including civil society organizations) if they have already made a recommendation based on their contact with the victim.
The Ordinance was produced as one of the results of the project „Targeted Early Victim Need Assessment and Support“, TEVNAS.