Rape: Trials

Attorney General written question – answered on 18th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Morris of Aberavon Lord Morris of Aberavon Chair, EU Justice Sub-Committee, Chair, EU Justice Sub-Committee

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate 2019 rape inspection, published in December 2019, in how many rape cases the defence given by the defendant was that the complainant consented to sexual activity; in how many such cases the defendant was acquitted; and in how many rape cases a defendant who gave a different defence was acquitted.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of defences relied on by defendants at trial. This information could only be obtained by an examination of CPS case files, which would incur disproportionate cost.

Rape and serious sexual offences are horrific crimes, which can have a significant and profound impact on victims. The CPS is a partner in the ongoing cross-Government review of the criminal justice response to rape, and is committed to addressing any issues the review highlights openly and honestly. Together with the police, the CPS is already developing a joint action plan, which will address issues raised in the recently published HMCPSI Rape Inspection 2019 report and – in due course – findings of the cross-Government review.

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