Information sheet Final Report

1. General information:

– Project title:
„Hate Crime – Professional Development of Judicial and Police Officers about Hate Crime”
– Grant no:

– Actual duration of the project:
Project duration was: September 15th 2015 to February 15th 2016

– Grant applicant (project leader / staff) with details of qualifications, institution:
Project Manager: Veselinka Kastratović, LM with BAR exam
Project Assistant: Petar Tokić, LM

– People involved in the project: how many? Positions held, recruitment measures:
Two volunteers involved: Sanja Krčmarek, LM and Gordana Živković, Italian and English language teacher

– Project content, methods, time schedule:
Activities implemented:
– Press conference presenting the project and objective was held October 2nd 2015 in Esseker Center Osijek (downtown public meeting area).
– Project staff made 43 official letters during the project implementation; mid-September through November 2015
– Two workshops were held for target groups in Đurđevac (hotel “Picok”) – first one on October 26th and 27th 2015, and the second one on January 25th and 26th 2016.
– Two panel discussions held on Osijek (December 8th 2015) and Vukovar (February 12th 2016)
– All project activities and information on project implementation were readily available on Center for Peace official web page with photos from the activities as well.
– “Protocol on procedures in case of Hate Crime” was published on Center for Peace official web pages.
– Leaflet “What is Hate Crime” was published on Center for Peace official web pages – leaflet was made prior to the project start and financed by the City of Osijek.

– Project Manager emphasized project objective and details on project implementation during press interviews and contacts

2. Objectives and expectations:
General objective of the project was to contribute to the building of sustainable peace through rule of justice and fight against discrimination.
Specific objectives were:
• Awareness raising on the importance of detecting, documenting and processing of hate crimes;
• Exploring of the legal framework and legal practice in EU and Croatia regarding hate crime;
• Presenting of the examples of good practice and suggesting models of collaboration of various stakeholders (judicial system, police, NGOs…) in hate crime prevention and prosecution.

Basic education was held for judicial officers from two counties from eastern Croatia, as well as for members of other institutions and organizations that monitor the reform of the Croatian legal system. During the education about Hate crime judges from municipal and county courts, municipal and county State Attorney Deputies, representatives from Office of Public Ombudsman, members of Service for Witness and Victim Support and members of NGOs received specific knowledge about hate crime prosecution and prevention in Croatia and EU. All participants will be able to transfer their knowledge and experiences to their respective colleagues. Since this was basic level education, a specific in-depth education about hate crime is needed with specific real-life examples.

3. Preparation:

– Individuals / institutions involved:
Project was designed and written by Project Manager, Ms Veselinka Kastratović, using lifelong experience of working with war crime victims and human rights victims.
Cornerstone of the project was recognized need for education of judicial and police officers about hate crime. Various meetings with representatives of the judicial system were held prior to the project application, on which the conclusion that specific knowledge in recognizing and processing hate crime are missing.
Everyday complaints from disabled persons, national minorities, LGBT population on absence of hate crime prosecution suggested that it is necessary to work on education of stakeholders in chain of criminal procedure.
While writing the project draft, the Project Manager consulted the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia and Croatian legal framework , National program for protection and promotion of human rights 2013 – 2016 ,“Hate Crime in the EU“ , EU Charter, brochure „Hate Crime against disabled persons – Guide for NGOs working with disabled persons, law implementation agencies national bodies for human rights, media and other interested parties “ .
According to our inquiries, in Osijek-baranja and Vukovar-srijem Counties, until now, there was no project with judicial officers about Hate crime. Education of police officers is not sufficient, according to citizen complaint and statistics on hate crime detection and prosecution.
The specific target group for this project was selected having in mind their legal obligation of “additional education of officers working on hate crimes”, as stated in Protocol on procedures in case of hate crimes , ECRI Report – Forth Monitoring Cycle in 2012 . By analyzing the curriculum of the Legal academy at the Department of Justice of the Republic of Croatia , it was visible that no specific education regarding hate crime exist. It was only logical to select judicial and police officers as members of target group.
Project of similar scope “Education of National Minorities in Osijek-baranja County about Hate Crime” was presented to the Police directorate in Osijek-baranja County few months prior to the project start. We offered collaboration and invited them to participate and to visit, with their officers, 7 towns and villages with national minorities in the County and present the police procedures on Hate Crime and the Protocol on procedures in case of the hate crime.
In the same time, we invited them to collaborate and participate in the forthcoming project “Education of Judicial and Police Officers on Hate Crime”

– Procedure, difficulties, problems:
During the Project implementation we have faced certain problems:
– Because of the reform of the Croatian judicial system the number of municipal courts was reduced. In some municipal courts in Osijek-baranja and Vukovar-srijem counties court outposts were left, but without criminal departments. Municipal court in Osijek and Vukovar have criminal departments and only judges from those courts could have been participants for our workshops. Overall number of judges participating in the project was thus lower than initially planned.
– Project was implemented during Parliamentary Elections in Croatia, when municipal and county judges were posted to electoral committees. According to that we had to adjust the schedule of the workshop to accommodate the participants.
– Pre-scheduled and unplanned court hearings and court procedures that judges and state attorneys’ deputies were participating in were also one of the factors that we had to deal with. We asked for postponements where it was possible.
– There was no collaboration from the General Police Directorate (GPD) of the Croatian Ministry of Internal Affairs. As a reason for rejection to participate in the project GPD stated that we have not contacted them in timely manner before including them as partners, and that during the project implementation refugee crisis was ongoing and almost all available police officers were tasked to borders. Because the lack of collaboration we had no police officers participating in the project.
– Project Manager Ms. Kastratović was absent from work for two months because of serious health issues (hospital care) – that had large negative impact on project implementation (5 months)

4. Implementation:

– Project development, deviation from the plan:
Project activities were implemented according to the schedule. Only deviation from the plan was delay of the 2nd Workshop from December 2015 to January 2016 due to Project Manager absence because of medical problems, operation and prolonged stay in hospital.

– Cooperation partners:
Project was supported and we had participants from Croatian State Attorneys’ Office, Judicial Academy of Ministry of Justice, Public Ombudsman’s Office, Service for Witness and Witness support from County Court in Vukovar and Association for victim and witness support Vukovar.

Croatian State Attorneys’ Office has invited county and municipal State Attorneys’ Offices to send their representatives to two Hate Crime Workshops.
Judicial Academy of Ministry of Justice has invited judges of county and municipal courts in Osijek and Vukovar to send their representatives to two Hate Crime Workshops.
Public Ombudsman’s Office asked if they can participate in the Hate Crime workshops, and they have had their representatives participate in the 2nd Hate Crime Workshop.
Service for Witness and Witness support from County Court in Vukovar sent two representatives to 2nd Hate Crime Workshop.
Association for victim and witness support Vukovar also expressed their interest in participatin in 2nd Hate Crime Workshop. Subsequently one their representative participated the workshop.
After 1st Hate Crime Workshop Public Ombudsman’s Office contacted us with inquiry if they could participate in the Hate Crime Workshops. They have found the Hate Crime topic to be of great interest and they have asked if their representatives could participate in the Hate Crime Workshop. Since they were not our target group we have invited only two their representatives, in spite of interest being larger.

Lecturers/Speakers were selected based on their expertise and interest in Project subject:
Marija Lučić Ćatić, PhD, tenure professor on the Faculty for Criminalistics, Criminology and Security Studies in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), expert in Hate Crime topics. She was highly recommended by Analitka – Center for Social Studies (NGO) that collaborated with her on a similar project in B&H, as a subject matter expert that published a number of articles on the topic.
Maja Munivrana Vajda, PhD, tenure professor, Cathedra for Criminal Law – Faculty of Law Zagreb. Expert in Hate Speech and Hate Crime topics. Author of large number of articles on the subject.
Barbara Herceg Pakšić, PhD, senior assistant professor, Cathedra for Criminal Law – Faculty of Law Osijek. Expert in Criminal Law, working on Hate Crime topics. Organized participation of 60 students from the Faculty of Law Osijek in the 1st Public discussion on Hate Crime.
Krunoslav Barkić, LM, judge residing on County Court in Osijek. Criminal Law expert, presiding in general crime matters, war crimes, corruption and organized crime. He has shown great interest in Hate Crime topics, and he has presented the topic and moderated the 1st Public discussion in Osijek. Furthermore he has created materials and presentations for 2nd Hate Crime Workshop.
Piotr Godzisz, PhD candidate University College London, School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies. Member of International Hate Crime Network, expert in Hate Crime topics. He was recommended by Robert Bosch Stiftung as a subject matter expert whose expertise extends to Hate Crimes against national, ethnical and sexual orientation minorities.

– Collaboration by participants:
Participants of both Hate Crime Workshops have expressed interest in the subject, they have participated in the discussions, as well as in practical part of the Workshops. Since Workshops were organized in a manner that there was a theoretical and practical part (where actual cases were discussed and analyzed), participants actively participated the discussions – especially judges and state attorneys’ – referring on their cases. Other participants actively showed interest for the subject and actively participated in the workshops.
Students from Criminal Law class from Faculty of Law in Osijek showed great interest in Hate Crime topics, especially because that aspect of the Criminal Law they have yet not been introduced to.
They have showed great level of fascination while visiting the courtrooms in Osijek County Court where 1st Public discussion was held. Judge Barkić, moderator of the discussion made additional efforts in presenting the work and facilities of the Court to the students.
Participants of the 2nd Public discussion were also interested in the subject, and they have been presented with the preliminary results of the project and with the topics of the both Hate Crime Workshops.
Almost all participants, after the Hate Crime Workshops and Public Discussions have expressed their positive responses by responding an anonymous inquiry. They have stated their willingness to participate in further Hate Crime projects, and have found Hate Crime topics to be of great matter. Lecturers have received high grades, as well as the organization of the workshops and public discussions. Responses to the question “will acquired knowledge help their future work” were especially interesting. Certain degree of caution was noted in the responses of judges and state attorneys’ – need for further education was detected in the matters of correct prosecution of Hate Crimes. Recognition of these crimes is greatly important for prevention, as well as to the victims and the accused. Educated judges and state attorneys’, having being introduced to the practice if European Court for Human Right and to the international conventions and protocols, have greater understanding of importance of prosecuting of hate crimes, especially crimes made of prejudice. In that manner the victim is better understood, her suffering, influence of the crimes (to the victim and to their relatives and community). It all amounts to better understanding and prosecution of hate crimes, and in just sanctioning of the accused.
Participants of the activities have received the materials made by lecturers; presentations and documents were sent to them by e-mail, and were given to them in paper to be distributed further in their workplaces.

5. Follow up:
Continuation of the work and possible perspectives

In future target group could be extended to include: social workers, teachers, medical workers that in their everyday work get in contact with hate crime victims and assailants – those groups that work with youth, students, adolescents, all being potential victims and assailants. Further collaboration with Public Ombudsman Office can be made by including them as expert lecturers, especially representatives of Children Ombudsman Office.

Target groups could be members of various minorities: national, gender and sexual. Area of Osijek-baranja and Vukovar-srijem Counties is highly intercultural and international. Recent incidents and hate crimes, as well as repeated public hate speech indicate on the need for prevention and education.

Further target groups could be people with health problems, especially women suffering from malignant illnesses. Women suffering from carcinoma are often targeted because of their physical appearance due to chemotherapy; victims as “invisible invalids”, being mobbed by their employers when they know of their problems (while some of them use tax discounts for employing disabled persons).

It is possible to include specialized Ombudsmans as expert lecturers as well as participants, especially Ombudsman for gender equality and for disabled persons.
Besides, Hate Crime topic is particularly important in dealing and confronting with the past. Working against prejudices towards others and different in the war scarred region is especially important.
We foresee possible collaboration with colleagues from NGOs in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Graphical presentation of evaluations made by the participants of Hate Crime Workshops and Public Discussion.
Questions (answers 1 – 5; 5 being the highest grade):
1. Would you participate in similar workshops in the future?
2. How content are you with organization of the workshops (transport, accommodation, follow-up contents, translation services…)?
3. How content are you with lecturers, presentations and materials you have received?
4. Will knowledge you have acquired on the workshops help you in your everyday work?
5. How important do you find the Hate Crime topic?

Questions (answers 1 – 5; 5 being the highest grade):
1. Would you participate in similar workshops in the future?
2. How content are you with organization of the panel discussion?
3. How content are you with lecturers, presentations and materials you have received?
4. Will knowledge you have acquired on the workshops help you in your everyday work?
5. How important do you find the Hate Crime topic?

6. Objectives achieved:

Results (content, practicality)

After the Project implementation, participants of the Hate Crime Workshops have received new insights and specific knowledge about Hate Crimes and crimes of prejudice / hate. Besides that, state attorneys’ have been presented with methods and “tools” for adequate detection and prosecution of hate crimes .

Besides judges and state attorneys’ that participated in the Hate Crime Workshops, information about Hate Crime issues have been shared amongst their colleagues in their workplaces .

Participants of the Hate Crime Workshops and Public Discussions , came from different institutions and background. By gathering them in one place, the project activities have facilitated creation of new contacts and created new opportunities of collaboration on hate crime cases and on other similar projects.

Because of the participation of Public Ombudsman Office and Office and Association for Witness and Victim Support, information about hate crime will be distributed amongst members those institutions and NGOs, as well as amongst their users and collaborators.

Benefits of the Project are multiple because of the spreading of the information on the Hate Crime issues, statistics on Hate Crime prosecution, need for victim support, prevention etc. Hate Crime topics have become serious part of the “everyday”, and danger of non-detection and non-prosecution of Hate Crimes has been recognized.

Lecturers have been introduced to participants and have been in position to hear their problems and needs, while detecting the need for further education and analysis of real cases (can be applied to state attorneys’).

Involvement of Criminal Law students in the project was equally important and beneficial because new methods of collaboration was created between the Faculty (legal theory) and Judicial system (legal practice). It is safe to assume that some of the students will seek further education in Hate Crime issues and will possibly write their master and PhD thesis on the topic. By including them we have distributed the information on hate crime also to the other students that have not directly participated in project activities. We have also distributed Hate Crime leaflets (printing funded by the City of Osijek) on the Faculty of Law but also on other faculties and institutions in Osijek.

On 2nd Hate Crime Workshop, and on 2nd Public discussion we have presented to the participants the Protocol on procedures in case of Hate Crime. It is a public document that is “in power”, that has not yet been publicly distributed or discussed, so we analyzed it and distributed the copies of the document to the participants, and made the copy of it available for download on Centre for Peace web page.

Since the Hate Crime is officially recognized by the EU Parliament and by the Council of Europe, it is likely to be that Hate Crime procedures will be in the focus of future projects. With the successful implementation of this Project, Center for Peace has started to tackle Hate Crime issues, an effort that should certainly be continued in the future.

– Feedback from all individuals and groups involved:

Positive impressions were received from the participants by the evaluation questionnaires and in informal discussions during the implementation of Project activities.

While presenting the project on County and Municipal Courts we have observed great interest. Due to problems with lack of staff, large number of cases and proceeding, courts and state attorneys’ had problems in getting enough free time to participate in the project activities.

From the responses to the questionnaires we have detected a certain level of ambiguity about usefulness of acquired knowledge in their everyday work. That indicates that there is a present insecurity and lack of skill and practice in recognizing and prosecuting hate crimes. Additional “in-depth” education is needed as well as more practical work analyzing and scrutinizing actual cases. It is virtually impossible that participants of the workshop do not tackle possible hate crime cases in their everyday work.

– Positive and negative observations and experience

Shown interest in the Project has been a clear indication that the subject was timely selected, that it was dominant in Croatian society and legal system, and within the target group.

Interest demonstrated by other participants (representatives of Public Ombudsman’s Office, Service and Association for Victim and Witness support and other NGOs that monitor the reform of the Croatian legal system) has confirmed the relevance of the Project subject and the society-wide need for that kind of discourse and elevation of awareness in Hate Crime prevention and protection of actual and potential victims.

Lack of participation and collaboration of police officers and General Police Directorate is one step back for police procedures in case of hate crime. Police officers that encounter Hate Crime could have received valuable knowledge and “tools” for easier detection and prosecution of Hate Crime . By participating in the Hate Crime Workshops they would have established valuable contacts and discussed diverse topics with judges and state attorneys’.

– Long-term effect (applicability to other projects, collaboration with project partners)

Implemented Project is, within the Centre for Peace, regarded as one of the successful ones in the span of 20 years long existence and activism.

Information on Project implementation were published on official web page, and in our contacts with medias we transparently presented our work and project activities. We were contacted to give information about the Project, Project subject, and about future work on Hate Crime issues, as well as about actual Hate Crime cases occurring in Croatia (Vukovar incident; described earlier in the report).

Collaboration with judicial institution and with Public Ombudsman’s Office, Service and Association for Victim and Witness support and other NGOs that monitor the reform of the Croatian legal system, is our long time practice. Finally, because of good prior experiences, especial yon the War Crime monitoring project, the participation of judges and state attorneys’ and Judicial Academy and State Attorneys’ Office was not in question.

We sincerely believe that similar project in the future would be recognized by them and readily supported. We are aware of the necessity of further education, theoretical and practical. In the same time we acknowledge the need for education of other target groups where we would seed additional collaboration and participation of specialized Ombudsmans, healthcare and social care workers and school teachers.