• By Admin

DRCC is inviting feedback on a draft submission to the review of rape and sexual offence trials under the chairmanship of Mr. Tom O’Malley, BL.

Following on from the media coverage of a high-profile rape trial held in Belfast earlier this year, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, published Terms of Reference for the review which include the following elements:

  • Access to specialist training for An Garda Síochána, members of the judiciary and legal professionals dealing with sexual offences;
  • Practical supports for victims through the reporting, investigation and trial processes;
  • The provision of additional legal supports to witnesses during the court process;
  • Examination of measures in place to protect vulnerable witnesses during evidence, including the use of measures such as pre-recorded evidence or video-link;
  • The causes of delay in sexual offence trials, and the effect of delay upon vulnerable witnesses;
  • The use of pre-trial hearings to determine evidential issues including conflicts of evidence and sexual experience evidence;
  • Provision for restrictions on public attendance at, and media reporting on, trials of sexual offences.

The review in looking at these key areas want to ensure that victims of sexual violence will not be further traumatised by the trial process and that perpetrators of such serious crimes can be held to account.

Ever before the Belfast rape trial, the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) have been concerned about how complainants are treated in court.  We have prepared a submission based on what we know from our experience and expertise. Before we submit it, we would like to hear from those who have been through the process, those who supported them or anyone impacted by rape and sexual offence trials.

To review the draft submission go to Justice Review for consultation

This consultation process will run between now and Friday December 14th on the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre website, and through its social media channels, Twitter and FaceBook.

You can send us your comments through a short online form or by emailing consultation@rcc.ie .

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