Category Archives: Sexual offences

The new law seeking to address “upskirting”

On 12 April 2019, the Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019 (‘the 2019 Act’) came into force criminalising the so-called practice of ‘upskirting’. The Act amends the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (‘the 2003 Act’) by the insertion of additional voyeurism offences at section 67A. The need for a new offence was campaigned for by writer Gina Martin […]

Protecting the Anonymity of Victims of Sexual Violence in the Internet Age

Victims of certain sexual offences, including rape, are granted lifelong anonymity by section 1 of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992. However, this almost 30-year-old statute is straining under the weight of new technologies, the use of which was not envisaged by legislators three decades ago. Whilst amendments have been made to the Act, it […]

Chaos in criminal disclosure

On 15 December 2017, the papers were filled with articles explaining the collapse of the rape case in which a student, Liam Allan, was a defendant.  Police officers either did not see, did not appreciate the significance of, or deliberately withheld text messages sent from the complainant that undermined her evidence and were therefore exculpatory.  […]

Domestic Abuse: Removing Victims’ Voice

Last week’s publication of the Sentencing Council’s new Definitive Guidelines on Sentencing in cases of Domestic Abuse is the latest in a long series of measures designed to address the perception that the criminal justice system fails to appropriately serve the victims of domestic violence. The fanfare surrounding these new guidelines has focused on the “distinct change […]

Lights, Camera, Legislative Action?

Recent months have seen a tidal wave of issues consuming the public consciousness on sexual misconduct and women’s rights. The Harvey Weinstein scandal, the #MeToo movement, the recent collapsed rape trials and the demise of the Presidents Club following sexual harassment allegations all feed into a growing concern about the disconnect between gender equality and […]

Old enough to know better? The minimum age of criminal responsibility

The documentaries “The Bulger Killers: Was Justice Done?” broadcast by Channel 4 and “James Bulger: A Mother’s Story with Trevor McDonald” aired by ITV, marked the 25 year anniversary since Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, both 10 years of age at the time, were convicted of murder. These documentaries served as a reminder not only […]