San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Court Again Rejects Domestic Violence Bill

FOR the fourth time, theConstitutional Chamber of the SupremeCourt (Sala IV) has declared parts of aproposed bill penalizing domestic violenceagainst women as unconstitutional.The controversial bill would penalizewith jail psychological and physical violencetoward women.Most recently, it was approved by theLegislative Assembly in first debate inDecember (TT, Dec. 17, 2004). This timearound, representatives of women’s groupsand legislator Gloria Valerín, of the SocialChristian Unity Party (PUSC), said theywere confident the law was close tobecoming a reality.However, on Feb. 24 the Sala IVdeclared Article 3 of the bill unconstitutional.Gabriela Zúñiga, of the FeministCenter for Action and Information(CEFEMINA) told The Tico Times she isvery angry because group members havere-worked the bill on the previous occasionsit was found unconstitutional.“Article 3 has always been a polemicarticle regarding relationships of powerand trust between men and women.However, with the help of legislatorFernando Cruz, we have modified it severaltimes. At the moment we do not knowwhy the Sala IV declared the articleunconstitutional,” Zúñiga said.

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