New research finds public sentencing of rape offenders in line with actual sentences

New research suggests that while the public views sentencing for sexual assault and rape as lenient, their sentencing choices, when they are presented with case scenarios, are in line with actual sentences.

Published 4 February 2021

Ireland: Rape complainants facing sexual history questioning to be entitled to counsel

Rape complainants in Ireland questioned about their sexual history will have legal representation at trial, under new reforms announced by the country's Justice Minister, Helen McEntee.

Published 29 October 2020

New campaign seeks anonymity for rape complainers

A new campaign is seeking a change in the law that would confer anonymity on rape complainers.

Published 9 October 2020

New research raises concerns over use of sexual history in trials

The Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland has published new research into how sexual history and bad character evidence is used in sexual offences trials.

Published 18 August 2020

Rape Crisis Scotland’s potential legal action against Scottish government ‘paradoxical’

Rape Crisis Scotland’s proposed legal action against the Scottish government over its failure to consider non-jury trials – which the charity complains has caused unacceptable delays for rape complainers – is “paradoxical", given that Rape Crisis itself had a hand in extending the delays, the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, Ronnie Renucci QC, has told Scottish Legal News.

Published 17 August 2020

England: Downing Street to set rape prosecution targets

Downing Street is planning to set prosecution targets in rape cases for police and lawyers, The Guardian reports.

Published 10 August 2020

Ireland: Sexual offences review backs anonymity for all defendants and greater support for complainants

A long-awaited review of protections for vulnerable witnesses in the investigation and prosecution of sexual offences in Ireland has backed proposals for anonymity to be extended to defendants in all sexual assault trials, as well as greater supports for complainants.

Published 6 August 2020

Crown Office to seek complainers’ consent in recovering sensitive info in policy change

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has revised its internal policy on the recovery of sensitive personal records of rape complainers for use as evidence.

Published 8 June 2020

India: Men who gang raped and murdered young woman hanged

Four men convicted of the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in 2012 have been hanged.

Published 20 March 2020

First Minister to be asked to back abolition of ‘not proven’ verdict

The First Minister is to be asked to back calls for the abolition of the not proven verdict.

Published 4 December 2019

England: Internal prosecution target may be responsible for steep drop in rape prosecutions

An undisclosed prosecution target may be responsible for a steep decline in the number of rape suspects charged since 2016, the Law Society Gazette reports.

Published 14 November 2019

Scotland sees 115 per cent increase in reports of rape and attempted rape and 10 per cent rise in violent crimes

There has been a 115 per cent increase in reports of rape since 2010-11, while reports to police of sexual crimes increased by eight per cent from 12,487 to 13,547, new figures show.

Published 24 September 2019

England: CPS taken to task over declining rape prosecutions

The Crown Prosecution Service is "in denial" about declining rape prosecutions and convictions, the victims' watchdog has told The Times.

Published 19 September 2019

Exclusive: Scotland considers creation of sexual offences court

Scotland is considering the creation of a dedicated sexual offences court, a judge has said.

Published 28 August 2019

Justice researchers recommend rape complainers be given their own lawyers

Complainers in sex crime cases should be given independent legal representation to allay their "perception" that the adversarial trial system is "weighted in favour of the accused", according to new research.

Published 22 August 2019