Abolition of rape juries will be discussed in Parliament today

Sounds alarming? Not if you’ve been keeping up with the news.

Ann Coffey MP will be raising this issue in an adjournment debate this morning from 11am in the House of Commons. In today’s Times, referring to the ‘shockingly low charging and conviction rates’, the MP raises the issue in this way:

‘Rape myths about how victims are expected to behave continue to pollute our society and jurors take these attitude into the court room.’

In the article the MP also refers to recent research, which I helped with as legal adviser. I and Dr Dominic Willmott of the psychology department of Huddersfield University arranged several sophisticated mock rape trials involving case papers and actors and barristers, and the juries (randomly invited as in real life from the electoral roll using jury ‘summonses’) were psychologically profiled and their findings assessed.

What we found shocked us. Read my post about the research on the BoothBlog.

The Guardian covers today’s debate here.

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