Decision-making in rape trials
Research by Drs Emily Finch and Vanessa Munro used focus groups and simulated rape trials to examine the impact of intoxication, affecting victim, defendant or both, on jury decisions as to whether or not consent was given to intercourse.
Researchers found that a double standard operates: the more intoxicated the defendant is, the less likely he is to be regarded as culpable, while a drunk victim is far likelier to be regarded as having contributed to what happened.
The researchers have been consulted by the Home Office review team considering a further update of the Sexual Offences Act. The research was cited in a New Zealand Court of Appeal case, and the researchers were invited to present their findings to New Zealand’s Ministry of Justice.