[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 July, 2004, 01:22 GMT 02:22 UK
Judges attack rape case reforms
Unidentified woman
Government reforms were aimed at reducing rape victims' trauma
Judges have attacked government reforms aimed at preventing rape victims being questioned in court over their sexual history as "fundamentally flawed".

The law was introduced in 2001 to stop alleged sex offences victims being asked about their sex lives unless the information was relevant to the case.

But a Criminal Bar Association report says the legislation is too restrictive as it denies judges discretion.

Most of 70 judges interviewed said the changes were too "victim orientated".

The report, containing the opinions of leading members of the judiciary, criticised the Home Office.

It said the measures were initially "unworkable" until the Law Lords ruled on how they should be applied.

It said the reforms tended to assume people who made allegations of sexual assault were necessarily victims - an assumption which coloured their attitude to the trial process.



The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific