The practicalities of English and Welsh rape trials: Observations and avenues for improvement

Smith, Olivia (2018) The practicalities of English and Welsh rape trials: Observations and avenues for improvement. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 18 (3). pp. 332-348. ISSN 1748-8966

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English and Welsh rape trials have long been recognised as problematic, with research highlighting the prevalence of rape myths (Temkin & Krahé, 2008), sexual history evidence (Smith, 2014), and manipulative questioning at trial (Smith & Skinner, 2012). Despite this extensive literature, little attention has been paid to the more practical elements of rape trials, but the limited evidence that does exist suggests these may significantly impact survivors (Payne, 2009). This article therefore draws upon 13 months of court observations to examine how seemingly mundane aspects of rape trials can present substantial barriers to participation. It will argue that ‘special measures’ can cause delays, some witness facilities are inadequate, and that the public gallery is frequently a site of intimidation. Ultimately, the research highlights simple changes that could increase opportunities for survivor justice; for example ensuring rape survivors use judicial entrances to court.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Rape, trials, victim/survivors, courts, delays, special measures, sexual violence
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Olivia Smith
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2017 09:38
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:56

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