The Rape Crisis Network has said that radical reform of the criminal justice system is needed to ensure more sex offenders are punished for their crimes
extracts from ireland.com
With only 1 per cent of rapes and attacks resulting in convictions, the Rape Crisis Network Ireland called for laws to be updated and a statutory definition of consent to be introduced.
Fiona Neary, RCNI executive director, said Ireland should be ashamed of its poor record of protecting rape victims and punishing perpetrators.
"The Irish criminal justice system has found it notoriously difficult to deliver justice for victims of sexual violence. This absence of justice must be tackled with every urgency," she said.
"We call on all responsible, the gardaí, the prosecutors, the judiciary and the legislature to act now to overcome Ireland's shameful record in failing survivors of sexual violence in our society and failure to prevent further crimes of sexual violence."
Amongst the items called for are a statutory definition of consent, removal of the requirement for the DPP to consent to the prosecution of a marital rape, complete review of the Punishment of Incest Act 1908 and reform of complainant/defendant anonymity provisions.
The issue of consent hit the headlines after a rape trial involving a Co Donegal student collapsed last week at a Welsh court.
Lawyers for the accused argued that the woman consented and the trial at Swansea Crown Court collapsed after the woman admitted under cross-examination she could not be sure she had not consented because she was too drunk to remember.
Some of the items should be straightforward to achieve, however, I wonder if a legal definition of consent is that straightforward or indeed what use it would have been in the case cited as the woman involved said she couldn't remember.