Latest: Justice Minister open to changing law on conduct of rape trials

Latest: Justice Minister open to changing law on conduct of rape trials

Latest: The Justice Minister says he is open to changing the law on how rape trials are conducted.

Charlie Flanagan is waiting for a review group to report on the conduct of trials before he makes any decision.

He says it is important to make sure women feel supported through the judicial process.

Minister Flanagan says he will amend the law if necessary.

"If there's legislative change necessary then I'd be very keen and I'd set about doing that but I believe it's more about the practice and procedure particularly in the case that you mentioned, I don't like to comment on individual cases, but it was a woman barrister who posed the question in that particular case."

Demonstrations are being held later today in four cities around the country while a protest will also be held in Waterford on Friday.

Protests to be held in five cities calling for reform of handling of rape trials

Latest: Justice Minister open to changing law on conduct of rape trials

Protesters are calling for an overhaul of how rape trials are conducted, in demonstrations in five cities around the country today.

They are in response to the handling of a case in Cork where a barrister highlighted the type of underwear being worn by the 17-year-old complainant.

It has led to claims that "victim blaming" still plays a part in many rape trials.

Solidarity Councillor Fiona Ryan, one of the organisers of the Cork demonstration said it is completely unacceptable.

"This is a very common everyday practice in cases to do with sexual violence where character assassination ultimately is at the heart of the defence in everyday proceedings, unfortunately.

"We've done very little to reform and make it a more open situation for victims to come forward.

She continued: "The rallies that are happening nationally is about highlighting and demanding action on reform on these kinds of questions.

"This isn't reinventing the wheel - internationally we've seen Governments move to institute reform on the questions, where judges, in particular, get special training.

Digital Desk


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