What a weird complaint

A US law professor, who will be speaking at the Commons, said the UK’s stance on false allegations is more aggressive than in countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia. Prof Lisa Avalos, of the University of Arkansas, said false allegations in the US were dealt with as a misdemeanour offence, not a felony – and most women were not jailed if found guilty.

“In the course of my research I have not found any country that pursues these cases against women rape complainants in the way the UK does. The UK has an unusual approach and I think their approach violates human rights,” she said.


The UK takes
crime too seriously?

30 thoughts on “What a weird complaint”

  1. Tsk, it’s not a real law, Tim. It is contrary to social justice that women should be held accountable for their actions.

    Anyway, how come some American professor gets privileged access to Parliament to interfere in how we are governed?

  2. Obviously women require different standards of law! They are weak, timid, easily confused creatures. A bit like children, pets, homosexuals and ethnic mionorities really.

    Only white males are capable of dealing rationally with normal standards of human behaviour and personal accountability.

    Oh, hang on,…wait..

  3. Thing is, it is inhumanly hard to get the CPS to charge on false allegations.

    Typically, the D will have form as long as her arm for it, and will have been given multiple opportunities to drop it and walk away, and the evidence will be cast iron eg Tracy says Dave raped her round the back of Giggles nightclub on Tuesday night, but we have CCTV footage of Dave in Las Vegas on that night.

    If the same standards were applied to false allagations as in the direction increasingly applied to allegations ie charge even if there’s basically no hope of a conviction, the courts would seize up.

  4. “White males are also assumed to have a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of all laws.”

    Not only that, but while drunk as well, as per the ‘A drunk man and a drunk woman have sex and the responsibility for determining whether consent is or can be given lies entirely on the man’ situation.

  5. Do other countries bring every case that has ridiculous accusations in it to court? Or do they tell some girl that’s clearly just vengeful to eff off and that if she comes back, they’ll charge her with wasting police time?

  6. First we had the Court of Law, then we got the court of public opinion, now we have the court of female opinion.

    A friends son was accused of sexual assault while at Cambridge University. The girl, the daughter of a very prominent Telegraph opinion writer as “social commentator, had form in false allegations and mummy managed to persuade the court that her daughter’s name and form couldn’t be made public so no other witnesses came forward.

    It took over a year to get our friend’s son cleared and but for the support of friends and family and young very bright young man’s very promising life would have been blighted in the meantime our friend was close to breakdown by the end of the process.

    She still can’t be named so goodness knows how many men are going to go through that same ordeal.

  7. @BWAB

    ‘mummy managed to persuade the court that her daughter’s name and form couldn’t be made public so no other witnesses came forward. ‘

    Don’t get this – the complainant’s ID is withheld as a matter of course in sex cases, and would not normally be withheld if she was herself charged. (Was she?)

  8. So Much for Subtlety

    The UK has an unusual approach and I think their approach violates human rights,” she said.

    Women have the right to ruin someone’s life because they were feeling a little spiteful?

    You know whose rights were violated? The Seven Second Rapist. The guy who slept with his ex-wife’s best friend and she claimed he took too long to stop once she changed her mind half way through. Although she later admitted she made it up to get back at him for divorcing her friend.

  9. Be fair, though, she’s getting a lot of flak in the comments under that article.

    I’m finding that recently the CiF below the line commenters are displaying far more real world views than most of the writers, which I find quite heartening.

  10. The UK has an unusual approach and I think their approach violates human rights

    Our approach is unusual. Someone who can be demonstrably shown to be lying should be severely punished – rape allegations can destroy lives.

    This is one of the times our justice system could take a leaf out of the Italian system’s handbook…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11229349/Fashion-student-Serena-Bowes-faces-extradition-to-Italy-after-being-accused-of-making-up-rape-story.html

    Up to 12 years for making false allegations of rape. Sounds good.

  11. I heard this person on the Today programme. Not one ounce of interest in the victim. Just concerned that it might deter women making accusations.

    If we are going to have firmer punishment for rapists then justice requires firmer punishment of those who make false accusations.

  12. “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”

    Judging from the old fashioned language, I’d expect this law to be pretty old, and so the punishment would have been pretty severe. When was it repealed?

  13. But Prof Claire Ferguson, a forensic criminologist from the University of New England in New South Wales, Australia, said it was not the norm to prosecute women for false allegations and that only those in the most egregious cases were charged, often where the accused man had spent time in custody.

    “There have been cases in Australia where people have been accused, then nothing ever happens to the accuser, even though the police believe the report is indeed false.

    “This can be hugely problematic and has led to many personal and professional issues for the accused [including suicide], even when the police have proven that they did nothing wrong and are not a sex offender,” she said.

    Indeed so. We don’t have to look any further than ‘The Guardian’ itself for proof of this, do we?

  14. I oppose the Scottish third verdict of Not Proven. If you can’t prove the defendant’s guilty, you should declare them Not Guilty. Not Proven just means “Yeah, we can’t prove it, but we all now they done it.” Which is unjust.

    And it strikes me that we risk creating Not Proven by proxy here. Of the group of men who have been accused of rape and found Not Guilty (or had the case dropped), there are some whose accusers have then been charged with making false allegations and some who haven’t. People might reasonably draw false conclusions from those facts.

  15. BWAB,

    > I’ve deliberately chosen her side of the story

    Jesus. That’s awful. She really didn’t want to go to the police but eventually got reluctantly dragged into doing so the same day. She really really didn’t want him prosecuted, which is why she went to the police. Then she really really really didn’t want to be a witness but testified against him anyway. The poor girl.

    What I took away from that piece is that Cambridge appear to have lowered their entrance standards to allow fuckwits in.

  16. “has led to many personal and professional issues for the accused [including suicide]”

    Damn that whole suicide ‘issue’.

  17. Rob

    Anyway, how come some American professor gets privileged access to Parliament to interfere in how we are governed?

    Don’t you guys still let the Scotts tell you what to do?

  18. So Much for Subtlety

    JuliaM – “Indeed so. We don’t have to look any further than ‘The Guardian’ itself for proof of this, do we?”

    The Guardian is such an intellectual problem sometimes. I want to believe him. I really do. In a world full of victims of false rape allegations could they have picked someone who actually did it? Well, they do tend to be consistently wrong ….

    I am waiting for someone to ask Bill Clinton about this. The fact the media have not is interesting.

  19. @BWAB

    ‘@Interested,
    No she wasn’t charge but with form it does raise a question about whether she should be named.
    Make you’re own mind up. I’ve deliberately chosen her side of the story:
    You can Google his name to get other versions.
    And if she shouldn’t be named why was he dragged through the mud.’

    Ah, I was only really querying the suggestion that ‘mummy’ had somehow conned or lawyered the court in to not naming her, when this is just basic common practice.

    As to whether she should be named, I’d say no. However, I also think defendants should remain anonymous until conviction.

    re the form, how much of it was there, and was it for a dozen deliberate false and malicious allegations or just a couple of allegations over a five year period that couldn’t be proven? There’s obviously a difference.

    Finally, the ‘I don’t want to go to court’ stuff – yes, entirely typical of today’s young adults. If you knock ten years off their age you get to their behavioural age.

    She acted exactly as you’d expect a twelve-year-old to act (on average, I mean, mine were far more mature at that age).

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