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NCJ Number: 83811 Find in a Library
Title: Rape in Marriage Legislation in South Australia - Anatomy of a Reform
Journal: Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:14  Issue:3  Dated:(March 1982)  Pages:52-69
Author(s): D Chappell; P Sallmann
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Research Council
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This article traces developments which led to enactment of rape in marriage legislation in South Australia, and the impact of the new law.
Abstract: In 1976, the South Australian legislature became the first jurisdiction in the common law world to enact rape in marriage legislation. The new law includes a provision removing immunity formerly granted husbands from prosecution for the rape of their wives. Prior to this reform, South Australian rape laws were similar to those of most other English common law jurisdictions. Two specific events in 1975 catalyzed the reform movement: activities of South Australian women who urged the enactment of such a law, and the case of D.P.P. v. Morgan, decided by the English House of Lords. The report of the Mitchell Committee, published in 1976, also urged reform with regard to this issue. Despite Parliamentary in-fighting and strong opposition, the legislation was passed. Contrary to the dire predictions of those who opposed the rape in marriage legislation, the South Australian criminal justice system was not overwhelmed by a rush of marital rape reports and prosecutions. From December 1976 through December 1980, 13 reports of rape in marriage were received by the police. Of these cases, two went to trial; one resulted in a conviction and one in an acquittal. A total of 15 references and 37 footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Australia; Law reform; Spousal Rape
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