Responses of justice to urban violence

Strasbourg, 20.09.2012 – “Democratically elected parliaments are well-placed to find the best solutions to prevent and punish urban violence in each European country,” today stressed Christopher Chope (United Kingdom, EDG), Chairperson of the PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, intervening on behalf of the Assembly’s President at the 31st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers of Justice in Vienna (19-21 September 2012).

He recalled that the Assembly has debated several issues related to the subject matter of the conference, including the impact of the economic crisis on the young generation, child-friendly justice and the media’s role in spreading violence. Although it is valuable to share experience and practice at the European level, few solutions are likely to be applicable everywhere.

Referring to the riots that took place in many urban areas in the United Kingdom in August 2011, Mr Chope stressed that urban violence required a swift reaction of the justice system and that all perpetrators, including both juveniles and adults, should be punished. While recognizing that the circumstances of urban violence in any country may result from completely different causes, family breakdown is often a key ingredient. That is why there is a need for other positive role models in our societies, where traditional family support is absent.