Patterns of Sexual Behaviour: The Law of Evidence: Back to the Future in Australia and England

Felicity Gerry, Q.C., Sjölin, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-5781-3801 and Urbas, G., 2015. Patterns of Sexual Behaviour: The Law of Evidence: Back to the Future in Australia and England. International Commentary on Evidence, 11 (1), pp. 29-65. ISSN 1554-4567

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Abstract

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.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Commentary on Evidence
Creators: Felicity Gerry, Q.C., Sjölin, C. and Urbas, G.
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
Date: 2015
Volume: 11
Number: 1
ISSN: 1554-4567
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1515/ice-2014-0012DOI
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Law School
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 26 Nov 2015 12:36
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:57
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/26516

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