Deniz Uğur, deputy director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition warned the figures needed to be treated with caution “given the mountains of evidence of myths and stereotypes that inform each stage of a rape case’s journey from report to court.
“With only 1.6 per cent of cases resulting in charges or summons, the vast majority of rape cases do not reach court in the first place, often due to police and CPS decision making informed by victim blaming, discrimination and rape myths.
“Because of this, looking primarily at the conviction rate of juries doesn’t give the full picture of how our justice system is responding to rape.”
Doesn’t that just contradict yesterday’s insistence that juries are patriarchal and need to be abolished in rape trials?
The reason for the sudden change in spin?
The research by UCL academics, the biggest of its kind, found that juries were more likely to convict rapists than for any other offence despite having the highest rates of not guilty pleas.
The researchers, who tracked every rape case that came to court in England and Wales over the past 15 years, said the finding demolished claims that juries were unlikely to believe victims.
They said juries convicted more often than they acquitted in rape cases regardless of the age or sex of the victim, undermining claims that they were reluctant to convict young men of sex crimes.
So, err, the problem, if there is a problem, is not at the level of the jury then, is it? And therefore the abolition of juries in rape cases – a serious proposal out there – will not solve whatever problem there is.
What has actually been happening is that the CPS has been selecting cases where there’s a good chance of conviction. And they’ve been doing that pretty well too.