Saturday 13 August 2016

Imagine A High Heeled Stiletto Stamping On A Man's Face - Forever...

New Zealand could be the first country to rid sex crime cases of jurors if one key recommendation from a recently published report by its Law Commission is implemented. The commissioners have suggested that there is a case for having sexual violence trials decided by a judge, either alone or with two expert “lay assessors”.
That's it, Julie Bindel's finally lost it...
Why do away with one of the fundamentals of a decent justice system? Is the jury system not set up in order to better ensure fairness and justice, rather than relying on a crusty old Etonian in a wig?
Not in rape cases.
Julie, you see, thinks that while you, the great British public, are perfectly capable of deciding whether someone's guilty of murder or shoplifting, you're hopelessly incompetent when it comes to deciding whether a man is guilty of rape (hint: he always is, no matter what)...
If jurors were to receive the level of training and awareness-raising necessary to challenge the deep-rooted and highly persuasive myths about rape, the jury system would be more effective in dealing with sex crimes – but this would take more than a few words from the judge at the beginning of a trial, which is how it works at the moment.
Yes, highly trained and educated professionals will obviously do a better job protecting women than mere members of the public, won't they, Julie?
My only misgiving in wholly supporting doing away with jurors in rape cases is that it might give leverage to those who wish to abolish the jury system altogether as a way to save money.
But you're prepared to take that risk, Julie. After all, what's the worst that could happen?


Antisthenes said...

Tim Worstall has brilliantly torn her apart on this

MTG said...

The looming prospects of Jury abolition with total relinquishment of traditional responsibilities to 'professionals', sends shivers down my spine. But full marks to Ms Bindel in highlighting imperfections in the current system of democratic justice. The dilemma for the traditional jury, is the test of consent - and as a potential juror in some future rape trial, I can foresee how my own prejudices are open to exploitation by a relentless and clever defence. Unromantic as it may be, it would be prudent for any man to obtain evidence of a woman's consent (text or email) prior to intimacy. Such proof or lack of it could then be pivotal in the the mind of a juror. Under the existing system, there can never be certainty vis-à-vis wrongful acquittal or rightful conviction. This will always result in a margin of error that favours the defence.

However I accept your fundamental point, JuliaM, that abdication of traditional duties and responsibilities in rape trials, is the thin edge of an execrable wedge.

John M said...

The level of conceit for other people in those quotes is just bbreathtaking, even by the standards of what is published in The Guardian these days,

JuliaM said...

"Tim Worstall has brilliantly torn her apart on this..."

Yes indeed, I saw that after I'd scheduled this, and I've commented there too.

"But full marks to Ms Bindel in highlighting imperfections in the current system of democratic justice."

Like democracy itself, no-one pretends it's perfect, MTG. It's just better than all the rest.

"...even by the standards of what is published in The Guardian these days,"

Ouch! ;)