Rape Law and Justice: Media

In this article, I urge us to focus on the actions of perpetrators of sexual violence, not on victims. Rape survivor Megan Clark has told a powerful story of her negative experiences of the criminal justice system. That should be the focus of debate.

Should we be able to sue the police when they fail to properly investigate a rape case? iNews Comment (17 March 2017)

‘Should we be able to sue the police when they fail to properly investigate a rape case? For two women survivors of sexual assault by John Worboys, the answer is a resounding yes. In a case being heard over the last few days before the Supreme Court, they have argued that had the police done their job properly – interviewed potential witnesses, collected the available evidence, taken the complaint seriously and senior police properly supervised the case – one of the survivors might not have been raped at all and the other would have been saved some of the trauma she experienced as a result of her treatment by the police. In particular, the Court of Appeal had found that the culture of disbelief among the police and their failures to properly investigate the complaints added to the suffering of the survivors.’

“Technically, the Ched Evans case does not set a legal precedent,” explains Professor Clare McGlynn. She is an expert on sexual violence and the criminal justice system at the University of Durham. Contrary to inaccurate media reports following the verdict, she says, Evans was acquitted under existing laws.

“The judges didn’t change the law,” she goes on, “they just applied it to the facts of this case in a way that surprised some of us.”

Lied your way into sex? You could be a rapist (The Telegraph, 30 November 2014)

An American lawmaker has proposed a law to change the definition of rape to include deceit. But what does that mean? Radhika Sanghani reports

Clare McGlynn, professor of law at Durham University, thinks it is a serious problem but only in very specific situations. She raises the recent controversy of undercover police officers who had sex with women on duty: “It is not clear that English law would cover the sexual activities in these cases as sexual offences, and the undercover officers have not been prosecuted.

“I do think they should have been charged and prosecuted for these activities. The women would clearly not have consented to sex had they known the men were undercover police officers. I think there is a level of deception in these cases which raises them above the ‘I love you’ sort of deception [where someone pretends to in love to convince someone else to have sex with them].”

It should scarcely need stating, but consent is to a person, not to a set of circumstances, and consent must be given afresh on each occasion

Clare McGlynn

Read the full article here.

Clare McGlynn quoted in The Telegraph (November 2014)

‘Lied your way into sex? You could be a rapist!’.

An American lawmaker proposed a law to change the definition of rape to include deceit. Clare McGlynn raises the example of undercover police officers who had sex with women on duty:

I do think they should have been charged and prosecuted for these activities. The women would clearly not have consented to sex had they known the men were undercover police officers. I think there is a level of deception in these cases which raises them above the ‘I love you’ sort of deception

Read the whole article here.

Clare McGlynn on Law in Action (5 June 2013)

Clare McGlynn joined Joshua Rozenberg and Myles Jackman to discuss the regulation of extreme pornography on Radio 4’s Law in Action.

Clare McGlynn speaks to BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour on Extreme Pornography (8 May 2013)

On the 5th anniversary of the enactment of laws criminalising the possession of extreme pornography, BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour interviewed Clare McGlynn. In this interview Clare calls for the law to cover rape pornography.

ClarPoster_sexual violencee McGlynn speaks at 5th North East Conference on Sexual Violence (November 2011)

GLAD co-sponsored the fifth in a series of annual conferences in recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Clare spoke about ‘Restorative Justice and Sexual Violence: exploring the possibilities’

Clare McGlynn responds in the Guardian to the Justice Secretary’s comments on rape (May 2011)

Professor Clare McGlynn has written an article in the Guardian in response to Ken Clarke, the Justice Secretary’s, proposal to increase the sentencing discount for early guilty pleas of rape. Professor McGlynn argues that he was right to start a debate about sentencing in rape cases and goes on to suggest that restorative justice may provide one way of meeting some of the needs and expectations of rape victims. It allows them a sense of justice by giving them a chance to tell their story in their own way and granting them a measure of control over the treatment of their complaint.

Clare McGlynn comments in The Guardian’s Women and Equality debate (May 2011)

Professor McGlynn has commented in the Guardian on the Coalition Government’s record on legal issues and women. Professor McGlynn suggests that though many of the Government’s cuts aren’t labelled as affecting women, “when you look at the detail that’s exactly what they are … as a feminist, [she continues] I believe women’s victimisation and discrimination is a societal issue and not an individual one, so it needs a societal response. ”

Clare McGlynn comments in The Guardian on troubling case of a false rape complaint prosecution (Jan 2011)

The conviction of a 16-year-old girl for falsely claiming she was raped has caused alarm among campaigners. Clare McGlynn comments on the troubling case:

In most of the reported cases of false allegations of rape leading to convictions for perverting the course of justice, there has been an admission from the woman or very clear, irrefutable, evidence that she was lying. However, here we have a young girl maintaining that she was raped. The fact that she changed her story is in no way evidence of lying but indeed is common in some victims, especially the young, as they may be confused or reluctant to tell the whole story.

Full article.

 

Clare McGlynn comments in The Guardian on the release of a woman imprisoned for falsely saying that a rape did not take place (November 2010)

The Lord Chief Justice freed a mother who had been jailed for retracting “truthful” allegations that she had been raped by her husband.

Clare McGlynn comments:

Where is the recognition that the woman is the victim here? How come a victim of domestic violence and rape is the one with a two-year community sentence and a criminal record? What does this say about the way the authorities deal with rape victims? It’s especially worrying given the climate over the last couple of months with the proposal to grant anonymity to rape defendants, which was underpinned by the belief that a high number of rape complaints made by women are untrue.

Full story

 

Clare McGlynn debates anonymity for men accused of rape on BBC television (March 2010)

Clare McGlynn spoke out against granting anonymity for men accused of rape on the BBC One programme The Big Questions on Sunday 14th March. Also participating in the programme, hosted by Nicky Campbell, were author and writer Beatrice Campbell, rape victim and campaigner Jill Saward, a solicitor representing men accused of rape and members of the public.

Clare McGlynn comments for the Northern Echo and BBC Radio Tees on the rape and murder of schoolgirl Ashleigh Hall (March 2010)

Ashleigh Hall was raped and murdered by Peter Chapman, a man who had previously been in prison for sexual offences and against whom a number of reports of sexual assault had been made, but not followed up. At the time of the rape and murder, Chapman was supposed to be being monitored as a sex offender, but had gone missing and the meeting with Ashleigh was made through a social networking site. Clare McGlynn commented on the issues raised in the Northern Echo and on BBC Radio Tees:

Professor McGlynn’s radio interview on the same topic on BBC Radio Tees (07m10s -11m40s)

 

Clare McGlynn addresses Tyneside Rape Crisis Annual General Meeting (July 2009)

In July 2009, Clare McGlynn addressed the Tyneside Rape Crisis Annual General Meeting on the topic: ‘Change or No Change? Examining the impact of recent rape law changes’.

 
Rethinking Rape Law: Akayesu 10 Years On (July 2008)
This international conference, part funded by the British Academy, examined the legacy of the groundbreaking  Akayesu judgment of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. This case saw the first convictions for genocide and war crimes baseMcKinnon and McGlynnd on rape, as well as advancing a controversial and challenging definition of rape based on coercive circumstances, as opposed to non-consent. The conference took this 10th anniversary as a spring-board to rethink rape law, from national, international and European perspectives; to review current strategies and to debate ways forward; and to consider the role of women and feminists in bringing about change. The conference was attended by delegates from all over the world, who heard plenary presentations from, among others, Prof Catharine MacKinnon, UN Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem Pillay and Professor Liz Kelly.

Conference organiser, Clare McGlynn, and Vanessa Munro, edited a collection of essays entitled Rethinking Rape Law: International and Comparative Perspectives.

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