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Prosecutors’ perceptions of the utility of video-evidence for adult complainants of sexual assault

Westera, Nina J. and Powell, Martine B. 2015, Prosecutors’ perceptions of the utility of video-evidence for adult complainants of sexual assault, Criminal law journal, vol. 39, pp. 198-207.

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Title Prosecutors’ perceptions of the utility of video-evidence for adult complainants of sexual assault
Author(s) Westera, Nina J.
Powell, Martine B.ORCID iD for Powell, Martine B. orcid.org/0000-0001-5092-1308
Journal name Criminal law journal
Volume number 39
Start page 198
End page 207
Total pages 10
Publisher Thomson Reuters
Place of publication Pyrmont, N.S.W.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 0314-1160
Keyword(s) rape
sexual assault
prosecution
video-evidence
Summary Playing an adult sexual complainant’s video-recorded police interview as the basis for his or her evidence-in-chief is a reform Australia could adopt to help improve criminal justice responses to these cases. This article presents a qualitative evaluation of prosecutor’s support for this reform and their views about what conditions would determine its utility. Focus groups were held with 13 prosecutors from across New Zealand (which already has this reform) and Australia. Collectively, prosecutors supported the availability of video-evidence for adult complainants. They perceived the utility of this reform depends on the following conditions: (1) the quality of the police interview; (2) how credibly the complainant presents on video; (3) contextual factors that influence the complainant’s ability to give live evidence; and (4) the degree of stakeholder support. These findings suggest that Australia should extend video-evidence to adult complainants of sexual assault guided by careful planning aroundthese four areas.
Language eng
Field of Research 170104 Forensic Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C3 Non-refereed articles in a professional journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Thomson Reuters
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30077449

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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