Sexual Offence Trials in Northern Ireland: The Cultural and Legal Dimensions
Eithne Dowds and Anne-Marie McAlinden, Sexual Violence on Trial (Routledge, 2021, Forthcoming)
31 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2020
Date Written: September 29, 2020
This chapter introduces the book and the key developments in Northern Ireland that led to its inception. These include the high profile ‘Rugby Rape Trial’ and the subsequent Gillen Review into serious sexual offences in Northern Ireland which collectively stimulated public, policy and academic discussion of the key issues, challenges and reform agendas in addressing and responding to sexual violence. The objectives of the book are: to add a Northern Irish perspective to the literature on investigating and prosecuting sexual violence; to draw from comparative international and domestic contexts and alternative approaches to sexual violence, and; to provide a text that is accessible to both academic and practitioner audiences by incorporating the voices of both in the collection. The chapter explains the legal and policy framework within Northern Ireland governing serious sexual offences and provides an overview of the broader context in terms of national and international reform agendas. The chapter situates the book within wider cultural and legal discourses on sexual violence and highlights the innovative contribution of the collection to the existing literature. Finally, it introduces the chapters that make up the rest of this collection.
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