Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Susan Leahy
The International Journal of Evidence and Proof
'The corroboration warning in sexual offence trials: final vestige of the historic suspicion of sexual offence complainants or a necessary protection for defendants?'
Optional Fields
 In both England and Ireland, trial judges have discretion whether to issue a corroboration warning in a sexual offence case. However, there is little guidance as to when such a warning is appropriate or the form which it should take. This uncertainty has the potential to produce injustice for complainants because the inappropriate use of such warnings may unfairly prejudice their testimony. Further, continuing to place sexual offence complainants in a special category with respect to the provision of such warnings is objectionable on principle and contributes to the perpetuation of myths about high levels of false allegations of sexual crime. Of course, the current rules may be justified on the basis that it is unfair to convict a defendant on anything but the strongest of evidence and that judicial comment on the uncorroborated nature of a complainant's testimony may thus be necessary in some cases. However, it is argued that it is possible to reform the current approach to corroboration in a manner which better accommodates the rights of both complainants and defendants. 
Grant Details