DLA Piper and the International Centre for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD) today launched a report on sentencing practices in sexual and gender-based violence cases in the Pacific Island region.
In the Pacific, more than two thirds of women and girls experience violence - twice that of the currently reported global average.
DLA Piper co-authored the report with ICAAD, which analyses the effect that gender discrimination has on sentencing decisions in gender based violence cases in the region.
Human Rights Lawyer, Emily Christie, said: "DLA Piper is proud to partner with ICAAD to deliver this report, which provides crucial evidence of the effect that gender discrimination has on sentencing decisions by courts."
"This report highlights the extent to which gender bias continues to prevent women from accessing justice on an equal basis with men."
The report found that gender discrimination affected sentencing decisions in over 50 percent of the cases studied. Where gender discrimination was present, sentences were two to three years lower than in other cases and perpetrators were four times more likely to receive a non-custodial sentence.
It argues that for women to be afforded equal access to justice, gender bias in the courts must be tackled through a combination of education, law reform and monitoring.
Download the report "An Analysis of Judicial Sentencing Practices in Sexual & Gender-Based Violence Cases in the Pacific Island Region" here.