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Closing the Justice Gap for Adult and Child Sexual Assault

Rethinking the Adversarial Trial

Authors: Cossins, Anne

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  • Presents decades of research including the 2019 NSW Law Reform Commission report
  • First book of its kind to examine key reform issues associated with trial processes specifically 
  • Appeals to academics, students and policy makers in the area of sexual assault and legislative reform    
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eBook 28,88 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-32051-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover 36,39 €
price for Spain (gross)
About this book

This book examines the justice gap and trial process for sexual assault against both adults and children in two jurisdictions: England and Wales and New South Wales, Australia. Drawing on decades of research, it investigates the reality of the policing and prosecution of sexual assault offences – often seen as one of the ‘hardest crimes to prosecute’ – across two similar jurisdictions. Despite the introduction of the many reform options detailed in the book, satisfactory outcomes for victims and the public are still difficult to obtain.

Cossins takes a new approach by examining the nature and effects of adversarialism on vulnerable witnesses, jury decision-making and the structures of power within the trial process, to show how, and at what points, that process is weighted against complainants of sexual assault, in order to make evidence-based suggestions for reform. She argues that this justice gap is a result of a moralistic adversarial culture which fosters myths and misconceptions about rape and child sexual assault, thus requiring the prosecution to prove a complainant’s moral worthiness. She argues this culture can only be eliminated by a radical replacement of the adversarial system with a trauma-informed system. By reviewing the relevant psychological literature, this book documents the triggers for re-traumatisation within an adversarial trial, and discusses the reform measures that would be necessary to transform the sexual assault trial from one where the complainant’s moral worthiness is ‘on trial’ to a fully functioning trauma-informed system. It speaks to students and academics across subjects including law, criminology, gender studies and psychology, and practitioners in law and victim services, as well as policy-makers.    


About the authors

Anne Cossins is Professor of Law and Criminology in the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales, Australia. She is the pre-eminent Australian expert on legal reform in the area of sexual assault and a scholar in theoretical criminology. She was the founder and Convenor of the National Child Sexual Assault Reform Committee in Australia and has been, and still is a member of various government committees, boards and councils dealing with sexual assault and domestic violence issues.    

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 28,88 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-32051-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover 36,39 €
price for Spain (gross)

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Closing the Justice Gap for Adult and Child Sexual Assault
Book Subtitle
Rethinking the Adversarial Trial
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-32051-3
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-32051-3
Softcover ISBN
978-1-137-32050-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 719
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations, 21 illustrations in colour
Topics