Prohibition on stay

In domestic violence cases, the police are obliged to intervene and ensure the protection of a victim from further danger. The police are the first to respond to domestic violence and they have the right under the Law Enforcement Act to issue a prohibition on stay to remove and ban the perpetrator from their residence for up to 12 hours or longer with the authorisation (or longer with the authorisation of a prefect).

The Law Enforcement Act entitles the police to effectively intervene in cases of immediate or serious threat, including domestic violence situations, and to issue a prohibition on stay to protect victims and their children from the dangers posed by the abuser. A prohibition on stay prohibits the perpetrator from staying in the vicinity of a certain person or in a certain place, require them to leave the vicinity of the said person or the said place, or to avoid coming to a certain distance from the person or place.

Prohibition on stay may be applied in the following cases: 

  • in case of an immediate threat endangering a person’s life or health;
  • for protecting dominant public interests;
  • for ascertaining or countering a serious threat;
  • for ensuring the safety of a safeguarded person or object;
  • for ensuring the conduct of offence proceedings; or
  • for ensuring the application of a state supervision measure.

A police officer or, in the cases provided by law, an official of another law enforcement agency may apply a prohibition on stay for up to 12 hours. A prohibition on stay may only be applied over 12 hours with the authorisation of a prefect or the head of the other law enforcement agency. If the perpetrator violates the prohibition on stay, direct coercion may be used if it is unavoidable.

Decision on separation & Human rights

The police have both the right and the obligation to protect a victim and her/his children. If police fail to correctly assess the situation of domestic violence (for example, the specific nature of the domestic violence, a previous history of records on abuse) and, therefore, refuse to issue a prohibition on stay, it may result in a violation of the right to life, the prohibition of inhumane or degrading treatment and the right to private and family life.

Domestic violence is considered to be a form of discrimination against women, as it affects mainly women. If the State (in this case – police) fails to effectively respond and provide protection to the victims of domestic violence in cases of immediate threats to their lives, freedom or health, it may result in a violation of the prohibition of discrimination in conjunction with a violation of the right to life and/or the prohibition of inhumane or degrading treatment, and the right to private and family life.

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education