Results of Scottish Review of Rape Law Announced

In response to concerns that prosecutions for rape often fail to lead to successful convictions, Scottish Solicitor-General Elish Angiolini has released the results of a review that began in 2004. The Scottish law Commission’s investigation of rape law is the first of its kind in the country, according to the BBC.

Suggestions include changing how police officers respond to rape allegations and providing training to lawyers who handle rape cases to increase support for victims. Legal experts involved with the review suggested that the requirement of corroboration from an independent witness be stricken from the law, given the difficulties that that condition imposes on a prosecution of a rape, reports the BBC.

According to the BBC, while 900 rapes have been reported to Scottish authorities, a mere 39 have resulted in a conviction of the attacker. In April, the United Kingdom drew criticism when it was revealed that the number of offenders cautioned for rape is increasing, as is the number of rape reports, but that convictions are becoming rarer. The news about cautioning came just a few weeks after an announcement that the government would be exploring changes in the way rape cases are handled in order to raise the conviction rate.


BBC 1/30/06; 6/14/06; Feminist Daily News Wire 4/11/06

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