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Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2046-9551
Published by Kent Law School [1 journal]
- David A.J. Richards, The Rise of Gay Rights and the Fall of the British
Authors: Neil Cobb
Abstract: Review of David A.J. Richards, The Rise of Gay Rights and the Fall of the British Empire: Liberal Resistance and the Bloomsbury Group (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
PubDate: Sun, 17 May 2015 00:00:00 -070
- Accessible Justice? Rape Victimisation and Psychosocial Disability
Authors: Louise Ellison; Vanessa Munro, Katrin Hohl, Paul Wallang
Abstract: In a context in which research evidence indicates high rates of alleged sexual victimization amongst adults with psychosocial disabilities (PSD), this paper sets out to explore some of the challenges that are posed to the criminal justice system by these types of complainants. We do so by drawing upon rape allegation data recently collected by the London Metropolitan Police Service over a two month period. Our analysis of this snapshot of Metropolitan Police rape reporting suggests that a significant number of rape complainants have recorded PSDs, and that these complainants are significantly more likely than those without recorded PSDs to experience additional, circumstantial vulnerabilities, including intellectual disability, alcohol and/or drug dependency, and repeat victimisation. Our findings also suggest that cases involving complainants with recorded PSDs are significantly more likely to suffer attrition – to ‘drop out’ of the criminal justice system - due to police or prosecutorial decision-making. In this paper we reflect upon possible explanations for this heightened attrition rate but also use our snapshot analysis as a stepping off point from which to highlight the need for more sustained critical research on the treatment of complainants, and the adequacy of police and prosecutor training and practice in this area.
PubDate: Tue, 12 May 2015 14:35:26 -070
- Challenging and Redressing Police Failures in the Context of Rape
Investigations: The Civil Liability Route
Authors: Joanne Conaghan
Abstract: The question of police attitudes to and conduct of rape complaints has been in the British public eye now for some time. A damning succession of studies have catalogued police failings, from initial reporting through to final disposition of a case, generating a mountain of data evidencing deep structural, institutional, and cultural problems going to the heart of the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. Located within a broader policy context of growing concern over the low rate of convictions for rape cases and set against a backdrop of substantial reform of rape law, not just in England and Wales but around the globe, the police handling of rape investigations has attracted repeated criticism and public scrutiny.One way of addressing these concerns is through strategic civil litigation. ooking beyond the UK, it is clear that both tort and human rights arguments have been successfully invoked to redress systemic and operational problems pertaining to the police conduct of rape investigations. Within the UK, such developments have been constrained by the doctrinal framework, particularly by the strong judicial deference given to policy considerations against civil liability first articulated in Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire (1989). However, recent developments in human rights law and, in particular, the successful suit against the Metropolitan police for investigative failures in the context of the ‘Black cab rapist’ case (DSD & NBV v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (2014)) suggest that this avenue of redress may now be opening up.How should this development be viewed in the context of the wider problem rape presents to criminal justice? Can civil liability be deployed effectively to bring about transformative cultural and institutional change in the context of investigating and prosecuting rape? Might it deliver results where all else appears to have failed? The purpose of this paper is to begin to explore these questions.
PubDate: Tue, 12 May 2015 14:21:32 -070