Maria Moodie of Garden Court Chambers co-drafted the report, 'Mid-term Horizontal Review of Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) baseline evaluation reports', alongside a team of experts from around the world.
Maria’s specialist expertise of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the context of immigration and asylum law was sought in relation to Chapter VII of this significant report that has been published to mark the 10-year anniversary of the Istanbul Convention taking place on 11th May 2021.
Maria Moodie, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers, has in recent years been undertaking work for GREVIO; the Council of Europe's body on monitoring states’ compliance with the Istanbul Convention - the Convention to end Sexual and Gender based violence and domestic violence against women.
Maria has acted as the International Expert on the country evaluation visits to France (2017), Belgium (2019) and The Netherlands (2019), and later this year will be participating in the country evaluation visits to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Norway, which involves undertaking a detailed analysis of domestic legislation and policy and advising GREVIO’s rapporteurs on issues pertaining to the protection and support of migrant and asylum-seeking women and girls in these countries.
So far, GREVIO have undertaken 17 baseline country evaluations in order to assess compliance by the signatory member states with the requirements of the Istanbul Convention. At this juncture the Council of Europe decided to undertake a horizontal review to provide a timely and invaluable overview of emerging patterns in both good practice and shortcomings across these evaluations and countries.
The Horizontal Review report contains a comparative assessment of the 17 countries and offers a comprehensive insight into how the Istanbul Convention has impacted states parties’ policies, jurisprudence and laws. As such, it is a testimony to the many steps that have been taken by governments, women’s support services and numerous other actors to ensure the right of all women and girls to live a life free from violence.
Maria prepared 'Chapter VII - Migration and Asylum' of this Horizontal Review report which in particular identified a number of positive measures implemented by certain countries to recognise the often precarious and vulnerable position of migrant and asylum-seeking women who have experienced sexual or gender-based violence. There does, however, remain scope for improved compliance across all areas of identifying victims of violence, offering access to support in order to facilitate escape, ensuring access to an autonomous residence permit in circumstances required by the Istanbul Convention as well as ensuring timely and proper identification and the grant of international protection of asylum-seeking women and girls who have experienced gender-based persecution.
It is hoped that this Horizontal Review will serve to congratulate states parties on positive efforts already taken and provide new impetus for the implementation and compliance with all aspects of the Convention which is widely considered to represent the ‘gold standard’ in the protection of women and girls from all forms of sexual and gender-based violence and domestic violence.