Lady Dorrian Review Governance Group: Consideration of a Time-Limited Pilot of Single Judge Rape Trials Working Group Report

An independent report that provides an overview of the findings of the cross sector of the Consideration of a Time-Limited Pilot of Single Judge Rape Trials Working Group.

Part 4: matters not covered within the Working Group's recommendations

While the Working Group's discussions encompassed a wide range of issues associated with the development of a model for piloting single judge rape trials, the limited period of time that the Working Group had to conclude its deliberations meant that there were some areas that it was unable to fully consider. This relates in particular to the logistical aspects of piloting single judge rape trials including considerations about how long a pilot should last in order to ensure it encompasses sufficient trials to facilitate a meaningful evaluation against the key objectives of the pilot. As noted above, it was recognised that further work supported by analysts would be required to identify robust data to assist in planning a pilot, refining the case criteria and determining how long it ought to run for.

Nor did the Working Group discuss in detail how implementation of Lady Dorrian's other recommendations might interact or influence the timing or design of any pilot. While the High Court has exclusive jurisdiction over cases of rape (and as such the Working Group's recommendations include that the pilots take place in the High Court), the recommendation made by the Lady Dorrian Review to establish a specialist sexual offences court, if implemented, introduces the possibility that a pilot could be located within that court.

Despite not having had the opportunity to consider these issues in depth, the Working Group recognises that detailed consideration must be given to the logistics that will underpin how any pilot might operate including how long the pilot should run for and in which court it should take place. With reference to the significant benefits that close collaboration between justice partners has brought in progressing the discussion around piloting single judge rape trials, the Working Group considers that should a pilot be implemented, further consideration of the logistics and other outstanding aspects of the pilot should be the subject of further cross-sector collaboration.



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