TRENDING & NEWS
In England and Wales, alleged rape victims will no longer have to face scrutiny or cross-examination in court. Instead, the justice secretary Elizabeth 'Liz' Truss has set out sweeping reforms which will allow all alleged sex abuse victims to pre-record all their testimony before a trial, and to exempt them from having to attend court proceedings themselves.
Ms Truss said pilot schemes showed pre-recorded interviews led to "a higher level of early guilty pleas", and that as such, these new laws will come into force across the nation in September. In her Sunday Times interview, she said "It reduces the level of trauma for the victim. I want to see that being the standard offer in those cases and that will give more victims confidence to come forward."
Ms Truss also said that the pre-recorded interviews will provide "much clearer ground rules" to counsel, adding that "At the moment, prior sexual history can only be asked about in exceptional circumstances, but sometimes questions can be asked that verge on that territory. If a question is asked that is inadmissible, that can be cut out of the tape by the judge."
But several argue that this will have a huge impact on those people who are falsely accused of rape. James Conte, founder of accused. me. uk said: "If you are a wholly innocent victim of someone trying to frame you, you will not welcome these changes because they will increase the chances that you will be wrongfully convicted." Zoe Gascoyne, chairwoman of the Criminal Law Solicitors Association, told the newspaper that taped interviews before a trial would not take into account real-time developments, and said: "This may be a step too far."
So what's your opinion of these new changes to the law? How much easier do you think that this will make it to accuse people of rape, and to get them convicted? And do you think that this will be a good thing or a bad thing?
- This is Perfect!Vote A
- This is GoodVote B
- This is OKVote C
- This is BadVote D
- This is Terrible!Vote E
- Who cares?Vote F
- Other/see resultsVote G
Most Helpful Girl
How dare they miss out cross-examination? It's the most important thing to be done to distinguish false rape accusations and the real ones. Body language is something to watch out for, and the exemption of these victims in attending trials would be a huge loss.
It's also not equal, to say, because for a sound judgment to be done and a sound verdict to be heard, an assessment must be done by examining both parties. The absence of the accuser will mean that testimonies won't be trustworthy as they seem and the absence thereof is blatant injustice for the part of the defendant.
Not only that, but recordings can be manipulated and fabricated, given the technology we have now. A face-to-face encounter will always count and is something technology can't beat in terms of sentimental value.13
Most Helpful Guy
I would say "this is okay". I can understand both sides but overall, I don't believe the people who claim this will be used for false rape accusations have good arguments on their side. If a rape accusation is truly made up, the lie is usually detected sooner or later. There are all kinds of things that play into this: alibi, motive etc.. And in a democratic justice system, the rule is always "innocent until proven guilty". So even if the judge has a feeling that something is rotten about the defendant (and believes a false rape accusation), that's not enough to prosecute him. The court must PROVE that he did it. So, saying something like "you don't have an alibi" won't help. That's why the word "innocent" is actually never used in court trials. It's ALWAYS "guilty" or "not guilty". Even if you are ruled "not guilty", doesn't make you innocent (there's a slight but important difference). It just means that the court didn't manage to show that you're guilty of having committed a crime.
What this means is that the hurdle to prosecute somebody has been deliberately set high by the people who created this western, democratic justice system. Nobody gets thrown in jail but because I say he did something. If I can't prove it 100%, he will be free and I might even face charges myself for slander.
On the other hand, we have the dignity of the (potential) victim. Nobody should ever be humiliated in front of 50 people with a cross-examination. Having experienced a rape is already traumatizing enough, we don't need to traumatize victims a second time. And previous sexual history truly has NOTHING to do with a rape case. Just because a woman has been promiscuous in the past doesn't make her less credible. These things are personal and can easily be abused by a judge who interprets them in his own moralistic way. Therefore, they shouldn't even be asked.6