Online Book: Rape Myths as Barriers to Fair Trial Process
Rape myths as barriers to fair trial process: comparing adult rape trials with those in the Aotearoa Sexual Violence Court Pilot
Publication date: June 2020
Authors: Elisabeth McDonald with Paulette Benton-Greig, Sandra Dickson and Rachel Souness
This open access book contains the findings of four years of research that compares the trial process in 30 adult rape cases from 2010 to 2015 (in which the defence at trial was consent) with 10 cases from the Sexual Violence Court Pilot heard in 2018. The aim of the research was to find out at which points in the questioning process the complainant displayed heightened emotionality, including distress, and why cross-examination (in particular) is so resistant to reform measures. Researchers also considered the extent to which the current rules of evidence and procedure are applied appropriately and consistently, and identified examples of best practice in order to develop proposals for changes to law and process.
The Borrin Foundation contributed funding additional to the NZ Law Foundation grant that supported this research and publication of the book.
Related Borrin Foundation Grant: Acquaintance rape: reforming trial process
- The author Elisabeth McDonald’s UC Connect public talk: A cross-examination of rape myths
- The University of Canterbury media release Research facilitates positive change for ‘brutal old days’ of rape trials
- The NZ Law Foundation media release “Rape Myths as Barriers to Fair Trial Process” – important new publication on Rape Trial research