Fatality Reviews

Last Updated May, 2010

Legislation should require domestic and dowry-related violence fatality reviews.  These are reviews, conducted by police, advocates and other community responders, which examine community systems to assess whether such homicides could have been prevented had various institutions responded differently. Such fatality reviews should also track and evaluate the impact of dowry regulation or registration systems on dowry-related deaths. See: Domestic Fatality Review Board, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights. For example, see: Hennepin County Domestic Fatality Review Team,  A Matter of Life and Death: 2007 Findings of the Domestic Fatality Review Team, 2007.

Pakistan’s Code of Criminal Procedure requires a police officer to investigate any suicides or suspicious or accidental deaths and file a report. The police has discretion, when cause of death is doubtful, to forward the body to a civil surgeon for examination (Article 174). A judge also has the authority to disinter a corpse, where it would be necessary to discover the cause of death (Article 176).

See: Chapter 4 of The Toolkit to end Violence against Women, p. 15. 

Promising practices: the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004) of United Kingdom (hereinafter law of United Kingdom) provides for “domestic homicide reviews” which review the death of persons age 16 or over when the death appears to have resulted from violence, abuse, or neglect by a family member, intimate partner, or member of the same household.  The review is to be “held with a view to identifying the lessons to be learnt from the death.” 9

In Ireland, the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is conducting a review of the female domestic violence homicides from the past 10 years, “with a view to determining the nature and quality of interventions with the victim and or perpetrator, and whether opportunities for effective intervention were maximised.  The research will also examine the requisite steps for the introduction of a domestic violence homicide review mechanism in Ireland.”  See: Researching the Antecedents to Female Domestic Homicides, at: http://webapps01.un.org/vawdatabase/searchDetail.action?measureId=21798