Expert Evidence As Context: Historical Patterns and Contemporary Attitudes in the Prosecution of Sexual Offences

Feminist Legal Studies 12 (2):233-244 (2004)

Abstract
In H.M. Advocate v. Grimmond1 the judge in a Scottish High Court trial refused permission for expert psychological evidence to be admitted on behalf of the Crown in a prosecution involving sexual offences against two children. The Crown had sought to lead an expert witness to explain to the jury about patterns of disclosure in child sexual abuse cases. The case was remarkable, not so much for the strict application of the longstanding rule in R. v. Turner that constrains the use in the courtroom of expert evidence from the behavioural sciences, but for the way in which the arguments presented by the Crown in Grimmond resonate with enduring feminist critiques regarding the treatment of women in rape trials. The theoretical issues raised by the decision include the quest for context to counter rigid evidential frameworks, and the choice of a child sexual abuse case as the medium for challenging the boundaries of the admissibility of expert evidence in the courtroom. The ramifications of Grimmond are tangible as legislation intended to benefit children and women has already been enacted by the Scottish Parliament to ameliorate the effects of the decision. This article suggests that while this legislation should be given a cautious welcome it remains to be seen whether the heralded benefits will actually materialise.
Keywords child sexual abuse  credibility  expert evidence  feminist critique  sexual offences  social framework evidence  rape trials
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1023/B:FEST.0000043340.62448.d6
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 48,784
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Rape Without Consent.Victor Tadros - 2006 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 26 (3):515-543.
The Queen and the `Bolton Seven'.Nick Dearden - 1999 - Feminist Legal Studies 7 (3):317-332.
Just War Theory, Crimes of War, and War Rape.Sally Scholz - 2006 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 20 (1):143-157.
Sexual Specificity, Rape Law Reform and the Feminist Quest for Justice.Louise du Toit - 2012 - South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):465-483.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-01-20

Total views
17 ( #547,513 of 2,309,229 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #525,368 of 2,309,229 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature