England: Judge reprimanded over rape prosecution comments

A judge has been reprimanded by judicial authorities after he made statements suggesting that many rape cases in which the alleged victim was drunk should not have made it to court.

Judge Philip Shorrock of Liverpool Civil and Family Court said there was no realistic prospect of conviction in many cases over which he had presided, because both parties had been drinking or taking drugs and because there was no independent proof of rape.

The remarks, made to The Telegraph, were publicly condemned by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, earlier this year, who said his views “lean in favour of ‘victim blaming’ culture”.

Judge Shorrock has now also been issued with a formal reprimand by the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor.

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) said he “had commented publicly on a politically sensitive issue without seeking guidance from the relevant leadership judge”, which “amounted to misconduct”.