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Articles tagged with: Sexual Offences

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[ 4 Feb 2014 | Comments Off ]
Keir Starmer’s call for a “Victims’ Law” – all heart and no substance

By Felicity Gerry
“From a victim’s point of view, our justice system is hardly fit for purpose.. “What is needed is a fundamental rethink, leading to a specific and legally enforceable Victims’ Law, alongside a real and radical shift in attitude and approach.”
So wrote former DPP Sir Kier Starmer QC in an article for the Guardian yesterday in which he proposed a “Victims’ Law”.
He set out how hard it is for victims of crime, particularly sexual and violent crime, to report their suffering and to go through the court process.
However, he …

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[ 29 Jan 2014 | One Comment ]
Domestic abuse – why creating a specific offence is not the answer

By Michelle Heeley
The Offences Against the Person Act has been in law since 1861. It covers all forms of physical assault ranging from the most serious, such as stabbing someone, to common assault which can be committed merely by spitting at someone. Marital rape is an offence, as is pursuing a course of conduct which amounts to harassment. Despite these laws, MPs are now seeking to introduce a new offence of Domestic Abuse, aimed solely at offences carried out within relationships. The offence would be defined as, “intentionally, wilfully or recklessly …

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[ 18 Dec 2013 | Comments Off ]
Sentencing sexual offenders – a lost opportunity?

By Felicity Gerry, Catarina Sjölin and Lyndon Harris
The Sentencing Council has issued a new Guideline in relation to sexual offences this month. The aim: “to help ensure appropriate and consistent sentences for sex offenders”, says the accompanying press release.
The Guideline covers more than 50 sexual offences and is “the largest and most complex” that the Sentencing Council has ever produced, but does it go far enough?
The Sentencing Council has made it plain that victims are central to the issue of sentencing. They have, for example, ensured that guideline sentences for rape …

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[ 20 Nov 2013 | Comments Off ]
Universal Children’s Day – child protection law in the spotlight

By Declan O’Dempsey
Today sees Universal Children’s Day celebrated.
The United Nations’ (UN) Universal Children’s Day, which was established in 1954, is celebrated on November 20th each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide and works towards improving children’s welfare. The difficulty of protecting children proportionately from abuse, neglect and other forms of exploitation will be one of the main aims of focus for international attention on the plight of children.
More often than gross neglect or abuse, insidious forms of exploitation arising from poverty (e.g. in clothes manufacturing) will …

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[ 19 Sep 2013 | Comments Off ]
Michael Le Vell case: the accuser deserves anonymity

By Jenny James
The recent trial and acquittal of Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell raises some worrying thoughts as regards the young girl in the case. Her anonymity is preserved as the law states that of all those who allege rape should be; Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992, as amended by the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, Sch 2. However, there have been press reports of her identity being leaked on Twitter and it is apparently common knowledge in certain circles.
The girl in question alleged that she was …