Feeling unsafe? Find support services   emergency? call 000

SEARCH ANROWS.ORG.AU i

What are you looking for?

Research

Our research

Violence against women and their children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

News and events

ANROWS hosts events as part of its knowledge transfer and exchange work, including public lectures, workshops and research launches. Details of upcoming ANROWS activities and news are available from the list on the right.

ANROWS

About ANROWS

ANROWS was established by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments of Australia to produce, disseminate and assist in applying evidence for policy and practice addressing violence against women and their children.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

Resources

To support the take-up of evidence, ANROWS offers a range of resources developed from research to support practitioners and policy-makers in delivering evidence-based interventions.


EXTERNALLY FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS

What would a barrister do? Would an early interventionist judicial direction framework change the approach of prosecutors or defence counsel in rape trials?

Background

Despite much legislative intervention, conviction rates in rape trials have dropped from approximately 50 per cent (1991) to 3 per cent (2010) in Victoria. It is commonly recognised that defence barristers deploy rape myths to win acquittals for their clients. This project will fill a significant gap in knowledge about how barristers interpret and apply jury directions in rape trials. This project uses interviews and workshops with barristers, legal academics and postgraduate students to find out how barristers prepare case plans for rape trials, and especially how they interpret, anticipate and respond to jury directions in relation to rape myths.

Aim

This project aims to:
- understand how barristers prepare case plans for rape trials and the ways in which barristers interpret and respond to jury directions in rape trials
- test whether barristers would change the way they construct their case plans in the face of alternative delivery methods of jury directions.

Methods

This project involves:
- semi-structured interviews with practicing barristers
- workshops with barristers, where each participant constructed a case plan for a hypothetical rape trial using the same fact pattern with a variable jury direction delivery method.

Interviews and workshops were recorded and are now being analysed according to the themes and aims of the project.

Significance

Very little research has examined the role barristers play in the perpetuation of rape myths in trial. However, it is commonly recognised that defence barristers deploy rape myths to win acquittals for their clients and prosecuting barristers fail to effectively combat them at trial. The current study will fill this gap by conducting interviews and workshops to find out how barristers prepare case plans for rape trials, and especially how they interpret, anticipate and respond to jury directions in relation to rape myths. This research has implications for legal education, law reform and the conduct of trials.

Funding Body

La Trobe University (Transforming Human Societies RFA Funding Scheme)

Funding Budget

$20,000

Project start date

January 2019

Expected completion date

December 2021
Back to top