Law reform would give victims 'more trust in justice system' - Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

Law reform would give victims 'more trust in justice system' - Dublin Rape Crisis Centre
Noeleen Blackwell is the CEO of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.

Update 1.25pm: The Dublin Rape Crisis centre says reforming our rape laws will give victims more confidence to report the crime.

Currently, somebody accused of rape can use the defence that he honestly believed that a woman was consenting to sex.

The Law Reform Commission has published a number of options in relation to consent - with the public urged to have its say.

As part of this review - the Commission suggests that the words 'reasonable belief' could be added to the definition of rape.

CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre Noeleen Blackwell thinks its a good move.

She said:

When victims understand that a person's bizarre beliefs may actually acquit them of the crime it is another reason not to trust the justice system. This would give victims a little bit more trust in the justice system.

Earlier: Issue of consent the main focus of review of Irish rape laws

The issue of consent is the main focus of a review of Irish rape laws.

Law reform would give victims 'more trust in justice system' - Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

The Law Reform Commission has published a paper looking at options for reform in the area - including whether someone should be charged if they did not make sure their partner consented.

Irish law on rape says an accused is only guilty when a sexual act occurred and they knew there was no consent.

The LRC is asking for the public's view on the issue and is appealing for submissions.

CEO Of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre Noeleen Blackwell says a review of our rape laws is essential.

She said: "A person will be acquitted of rape if they reasonably believe that the other person was consenting. Currently, no matter how strange the belief is if someone really believes it they will be acquitted.

The trouble is they walk out of court free and if they have this strange system of belief, they can commit the crime again.

Tom O'Malley, a senior law lecturer at NUI Galway and a member of Law Reform Commission said:

This paper is dealing with just one aspect of the law of rape. That is, the question of whether a person should be entitled to be acquitted of rape if it is found that he honestly believed that the complainant was consenting even though his belief might have been unreasonable in the circumstances.

- Digital Desk

More on this topic

Supreme court rules reduction in marital rape sentencing was wrongSupreme court rules reduction in marital rape sentencing was wrong

Change consent in rape laws, say expertsChange consent in rape laws, say experts

Figures show doubling of rape cases in decadeFigures show doubling of rape cases in decade

Why are gang rape accusations treated as 'sexual abuse' in Spain? Another trial fails another victimWhy are gang rape accusations treated as 'sexual abuse' in Spain? Another trial fails another victim


More in this Section

Gardaí talk to three people as investigation into Cork father set on fire continuesGardaí talk to three people as investigation into Cork father set on fire continues

Garda tells inquest he shot Mark Hennessy as he believed he was about to slit Jastine Valdez's throatGarda tells inquest he shot Mark Hennessy as he believed he was about to slit Jastine Valdez's throat

Michael McGrath: Fianna Fáil not kicking pension decisions down the roadMichael McGrath: Fianna Fáil not kicking pension decisions down the road

Cork-based cybersecurity firm warn of 300% increase in cyber attacks from Iran Cork-based cybersecurity firm warn of 300% increase in cyber attacks from Iran


Lifestyle

Dr Sarah Miller is the CEO of Dublin’s Rediscovery Centre, the national centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland. She has a degree in Biotechnology and a PHD in Environmental Science in Waste Conversion Technologies.‘We have to give people positive messages’

When I was pregnant with Joan, I knew she was a girl. We didn’t find out the gender of the baby, but I just knew. Or else, I so badly wanted a girl, I convinced myself that is exactly what we were having.Mum's the Word: I have a confession: I never wanted sons. I wanted daughters

What is it about the teenage years that are so problematic for families? Why does the teenage soul rage against the machine of the adult world?Learning Points: It’s not about the phone, it’s about you and your teen

Judy Collins is 80, and still touring. As she gets ready to return to Ireland, she tells Ellie O’Byrne about the songs that have mattered most in her incredible 60-year career.The songs that matter most to Judy Collins from her 60-year career

More From The Irish Examiner