Patterns of sexual behaviour: the law of evidence: back to the future in Australia and England

Felicity Gerry, Sjölin, Catarina and Urbas, Gregor 2013, Patterns of sexual behaviour: the law of evidence: back to the future in Australia and England, International Commentary on Evidence, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 29-65, doi: 10.1515/ice-2014-0012.

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Title Patterns of sexual behaviour: the law of evidence: back to the future in Australia and England
Author(s) Felicity GerryORCID iD for Felicity Gerry
Sjölin, Catarina
Urbas, Gregor
Journal name International Commentary on Evidence
Volume number 11
Issue number 1
Start page 29
End page 65
Total pages 37
Publisher Walter de Gruyter GmbH
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2013-01-01
ISSN 2194-5691
Keyword(s) child abuse
court of appeals
sexual behaviour
Summary A recent Victorian Court of Appeal ruling1 [in Australia] has sparked concerns that a clamp down on the way child abuse cases are handled could thwart convictions. The Court of Appeal justices ruled only cases that are “remarkably” similar would go before the same jury, making it harder for allegations from multiple complainants to be heard together. There are concerns that this will reduce the number of convictions for sexual offences, especially for those against children.2 This article explores the approach in England and Wales, and Australia to evidence of a pattern of behaviour, focussing on when it is adduced in cases involving sexual abuse. We first consider the shared common law history of the two jurisdictions before exploring how common law and legislative changes have led to surprisingly different positions in the two countries. We conclude by suggesting a simpler and more rational approach which has started to emerge and could be adopted in both countries, and indeed should be considered in any jurisdiction
Language eng
DOI 10.1515/ice-2014-0012
Field of Research 1801 Law
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, De Gruyter
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