Law Reform: Sexual Assault

cmicallef5
Mind Map by , created over 6 years ago

Legal Studies Mind Map on Law Reform: Sexual Assault, created by cmicallef5 on 05/05/2013.

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cmicallef5
Created by cmicallef5 over 6 years ago
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Law Reform: Sexual Assault
1 Introduction:
1.1 "Criminal justice outcomes for sexual assault prosecutions are extremely poor. On all indicators, sexual assault prosecutions fare the worst. Sexual assault offences have amongst the lowest numbers for guilty pleas, lowest guilty verdict rate and highest appeal rate of any offence category."
1.2 "Recently the UK passed laws which contain arguably the most far-reaching definition of consent, stating that ‘a person consents if he agrees by choice and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice."
1.3 Noun S: (n) sexual assault, sexual abuse, sex crime, sex offense (a statutory offense that provides that it is a crime to knowingly cause another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat) "most states have replaced the common law definition of rape with statutes defining sexual assault" - http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=sexual%20assault
2 Body 1: Statistics
2.1 The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR)10 estimates that: >  only 20-27% of victims report sexual assault; >  more than 80% of sexual offences reported to police do not 
proceed to prosecution; >  most sexual offences proceed no further than the investigation stage; >  only 15% of sex incidents involving a child victim (under 16 years old) and 19% of incidents involving an adult victim result in the initiation of criminal proceedings against a suspect; >  among the small percentage of cases that do reach court, the conviction rate is low, with less than 50% of defendants appearing for a sexual offence being found guilty;
2.2 Sexual offences are one of the least reported crimes in NSW and also have the lowest conviction rates of any other crime. This is further seen due to delays in cases and lowers victim's satisfaction in feeling closure.
3 Body 3: Legislative Provisions used in Court
3.1 Specialist Courts: Aims to reduce the trauma of victims and improve conviction rates.
3.2 Technology such as closed - circuit television so the victim can give their testimony in a separate room from the defendant - provides protection and feelings of security for victims.
3.3 Vivien case: Legal answers
4 Body 2: Consent and Forensic Developments
4.1 Although forensic technology has improved, it has not been successful in increasing the convictions of sexual assault offenders. While forensic technology may be able to prove and show signs of either a struggle, injury or indecent act, it can not say whether a victim gave consent or not. This is the remaining issue that is yet to be solved.
4.2 While DNA evidence can say whether a person came in contact with another, an act occurred or even if a stubble occurred due to signs on the body or skin fragments under the nails, it still cannot be relied upon as the only evidence from a trial. This is due to the fact that it remains the victim's word against the defendant's.
4.3 "Recently the UK passed laws which contain arguably the most far-reaching definition of consent, stating that ‘a person consents if he agrees by choice and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice."

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