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NCJ Number: 68096 Find in a Library
Title: VICTIMS ON TRIAL - PROSECUTIONS FOR RAPE
Journal: SOUTH AFRICAN JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:12  Issue:2  Dated:(1977)  Pages:147-162
Author(s): L WALLER
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 16
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: South Africa
Annotation: PROPOSALS FROM SOME AUSTRALIAN LAW REFORM BODIES REGARDING POLICE AND COURT TREATMENT OF SUSPECTED RAPE VICTIMS ARE DISCUSSED, ALONG WITH ISSUES PERTAINING TO RAPE CHARGES IN A HUSBAND-WIFE RELATIONSHIP.
Abstract: AUSTRALIAN LAW REFORM BODIES ARE GENERALLY CONCERNED TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED IN RAPE CASES WHILE DOING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO AVOID UNNECESSARY EMBARRASSMENT OR PRESSURE FOR THE ALLEGED VICTIM. IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA AND VICTORIA, STATE POLICE FORCES HAVE ANTICIPATED THE PROPOSALS OF REFORM BODIES BY ESTABLISHING SPECIAL PROCEDURES TO DEAL WITH RAPE COMPLAINTS. THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF THE NEW POLICE PROCEDURES IS THE USE OF SPECIALLY TRAINED WOMEN POLICE OFFICERS IN RAPE INVESTIGATIONS. IN BOTH STATES, PANELS OF DOCTORS, INCLUDING FEMALE DOCTORS, ARE ESTABLISHED TO MEET THE WISHES OF ANY VICTIM WHO WANTS TO BE EXAMINED BY A FEMALE DOCTOR. ALSO IN VICTORIA AND SOUTH AUSTRALIA, EXISTING LAW PROHIBITS THE PUBLICATION OF THE NAME OF A RAPE VICTIM. IN BOTH STATES, THE PUBLIC IS EXCLUDED FROM PRELIMINARY HEARINGS REQUIRED TO DETERMINE IF THERE IS SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE FOR A TRIAL. REFORM BODIES IN BOTH STATES, HOWEVER, HAVE REFUSED TO EXCLUDE RAPE CASES FROM THE REQUIREMENT FOR A PUBLIC TRIAL. IN THE CROSS-EXAMINATION OF THE ALLEGED VICTIM, INQUIRIES ABOUT EVENTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE RAPE ARE PERMITTED, AND INFORMATION BEARING UPON THE CREDIBILITY OF THE WITNESS IS DEEMED PERTINENT; HOWEVER, REFORM BODIES ARGUE FOR THE EXCLUSION OF ANY INQUIRY INTO THE VICTIM'S PAST SEXUAL HISTORY, EXCEPT WHERE IT CAN BE SHOWN IN A PRIVATE HEARING BEFORE TO JUDGE THAT SUCH INFORMATION HAS A DIRECT BEARING ON THE CASE. NO RECOMMENDATIONS WERE MADE BY REFORM BODIES FOR ANY CHANGE IN JURY REQUIREMENTS REGARDING A QUOTA FOR WOMEN JURORS. LAW REFORM BODIES HAVE NOT SEEN FIT TO ALLOW THAT RAPE IS POSSIBLE FOR A HUSBAND AND WIFE LIVING TOGETHER, ALTHOUGH CRIMINAL ASSAULT (VIOLENCE) AGAINST ANY PERSON IS PROHIBITED UNDER EXISTING LAW. WHERE HUSBAND AND WIFE ARE NO LONGER LIVING TOGETHER, THE SENTIMENT OF THE REFORM BODIES IS THAT SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITHOUT CONSENT WOULD BE RAPE. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Criminal investigation; Law reform; Rape victim shield laws; Victim medical assistance
Note: PAPER PRESENTED AT SECOND INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON VICTIMOLOGY, BOSTON,
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68096

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