Single judge trials for serious sexual offence cases
Serious sexual offences are crimes like rape and attempted rape.
A jury is a group of people who listen to what is said in court during a trial.
The jury decides if the accused person committed the crime.
A juror is a member of the jury.
The consultation asked people what they thought about judges making decisions in serious sexual offence cases instead of juries.
Some respondents thought that there were problems with jury trials for serious sexual offence cases.
- jury trials were traumatic for victims
- jurors might not understand complicated legal matters
- jurors might believe myths that it was the victim’s fault that they were raped
A myth is something that is not true.
Some respondents thought that jury trials should continue to be used for serious sexual offence cases.
They said that this was a fair system.
They said getting rid of juries would not make the system better.
There were mixed opinions about using a judge instead of a jury for serious sexual offence cases.
There was some support for testing to see if this worked.
Some people thought that it might be too difficult to test this.
There was agreement there needs to be improvements in serious sexual offence cases.
- more done to help people understand how serious sexual offences can affect victims
- more done to stop people believing myths about serious sexual offence victims
- better training for people dealing with serious sexual offence cases
- more diversity among the people who make decisions in serious sexual offence cases
Diversity means people from different backgrounds.
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