Added: January 2, 2016 – Last updated: June 3, 2017


Authors: Jessica Kennedy, Patricia Easteal, and Lorana Bartels

Title: How protected is she?

Subtitle: "Fairness" and the rape victim witness in Australia

Journal: Women's Studies International Forum

Volume: 35

Issue: 5

Year: September-October 2012 (Published online: July 20, 2012)

Pages: 334-342

ISSN: 0277-5395 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century, 21st Century | Oceanian History: Australian History | Prosecution: Trials



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Lorana Bartels, School of Law & Justice, University of, ResearchGate

Patricia Easteal, School of Law & Justice, University of, ResearchGate, Wikipedia

– Jessica Kennedy: ResearchGate

Abstract: »How do principles or notions concerning fairness of proceedings tend to play out in Australian rape trials? We look at two types of legislative provisions pertaining to evidence in chief and cross-examination that have been altered in the last three decades in Australia. They were enacted to eliminate or minimise questions about the victim's sexual history and/or reputation, alter what is considered proper questioning and provide procedures to better protect victim witnesses' rights to safety. We examine what appear to be the limitations of law reform to mitigate the trauma of the trial for victims, to produce more accurate and consistent evidence and to increase prosecution and conviction rates, The implications of reducing judicial discretion in this context are also considered.« (Source: Women's Studies International Forum)


  Introduction (p. 334)
  Need for fairness in rape trial proceedings (p. 336)
  Some Australian legislative reforms: aiming to increase fairness of proceedings and conviction rates (p. 336)
  Implementation of 'fairness to victim witness' law reform (p. 337)
  Balancing fairness (p. 339)
  Conclusion (p. 340)
  References (p. 341)
  Legislation (p. 342)
  Cases (p. 342)

Wikipedia: History of Oceania: History of Australia / History of Australia since 1945 | Rape in Australia