Dublin Rape Crisis Centre CEO: More research needed for jury composition of rape trials

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre CEO: More research needed for jury composition of rape trials

The CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre believes more research needs to be done in the area of jury composition for rape and sexual assault trials.

A recommendation for a compulsory representation of men and women on such juries was rejected before the current law was introduced.

A Joint Oireachtas Committee raised concerns about female jurors being challenged due to a belief they may be too sympathetic to the complainant.

Last month, a man was jailed for ten years after a jury of eleven men and one woman found him guilty of raping his wife at their home in Dublin in 2014.

Noeline Blackwell believes it vindicated the current selection process but says more cases would have to be examined to get a better picture: “You would need to establish some kind of a trend, one case does not constitute evidence of anything, except that case.

“But it would be a really interesting thing to track and I don't know if we have done enough work, in this country, on the question of juries and their composition and then testing against various types of crime.”


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