A research study into the factors that influence the very low conviction rate for rape has found that most cases ‘drop out’ at the earliest, policing stages of the justice process. Nearly two thirds of cases are lost at this stage with victim withdrawal continuing to be a significant problem. Researchers tracked one year’s reported rape cases in the Sussex area and interviewed criminal justice personnel and women and men who had, and had not, reported rape to the police. Significant numbers of police officers believe a large proportion of rapes (mean response of 53 per cent) are false allegations, in contrast to the case review research findings showing that just four per cent of cases were formally documented as ‘false’.
Contact Dr Lesley McMillan, Glasgow Caledonian University; email Lesley.email@example.com
ESRC Grant Number RES-061-23-0138
From ESRC Society Now, Spring 2011, issue 9.
See also Wendy Larcombe’s article in the forthcoming issue of Feminist Legal Studies which questions the value of conviction rates as a measure of the ‘success’ of rape law reforms, and suggests alternative, woman-centred, measures.
Volume 19, no. 1 of Feminist Legal Studies will be published in April 2011.
Davina Cooper explores the feeling state in ‘Reading the State as a Multi-Identity Formation: The Touch and Feel of Equality Governance’.
Peter Rush charts the trajectory of Australian rape law reforms in ‘Jurisdictions of Sexual Assault: Reforming the Texts and Testimony of Rape in Australia’.
Wendy Larcombe critically assesses rape law reform agendas in ‘Falling Rape Conviction Rates: (Some) Feminist Aims and Measures for Rape Laws’.
Moira Gatens discusses ‘Law, Religion and Human Rights in Eliot, Feuerbach and Spinoza’ with Stacy Douglas.
Hazel Biggs considers the new assisted suicide guidelines in England & Wales in ‘Legitimate Compassion or Compassionate Legitimation? Reflections on the Policy for Prosecutors in Respect of Encouraging or Assisting Suicide’.
Rosemary Hunter reviews Kim Brooks (ed.), Justice Bertha Wilson: One Woman’s Difference.
Iyiola Solanke reviews Nicholas Blomley’s Rights of Passage: Sidewalks and the Regulation of Public Flow.
Aleardo Zanghellini reviews Rosie Harding’s Regulating Sexuality: Legal Consciousness in Lesbian and Gay Lives.
Volume 18 no. 3 of Feminist Legal Studies (December 2010) is now available.
Julie McCandless and Sally Sheldon investigate the reform process and likely impact of the new ‘welfare clause’ in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 in ‘”No Father Required”?’.
Aleardo Zanghellini examines the complex regimes faced by lesbian and gay parents attempting to gain parental responsibility for their (non-biological) children in ‘Lesbian and Gay Parents and Reproductive Technologies: The 2008 Australian and UK Reforms’.
Vivienne Elizabeth, Nicola Gavey and Julia Tolmie draw on a new qualitative study of mothers in Family Court disputes in New Zealand in ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Resident Mothers and the Moral Dilemmas They Face During Custody Disputes’.
Jesse Elvin exposes ‘The Continuing Use of Problematic Sexual Stereotypes in Judicial Decision-making’ by senior members of the judiciary in England and Wales.
Hazel Biggs reviews Shelley Day Sclater et al. (eds), Regulating Autonomy: Sex, Reproduction and Family and Naomi R. Cahn, Test Tube Babies: Why the Fertility Market Needs Legal Regulation.
Eva-Maria Svensson reviews Anu Pylkkanen’s Trapped in Equality: Women as Legal Persons in the Modernisation of Finnish Law.
Les Moran reviews Adrian Howe, Sex, Violence and Crime: Foucault and the ‘Man’ Question and Maureen Cain and Adrian Howe (eds), Women, Crime and Social Harm: Towards a Criminology for the Global Era.
Gillian Douglas reviews Anne Bottomley and Simone Wong (eds), Changing Contours of Domestic Life, Family and Law: Caring and Sharing.
Volume 18, no. 2 of Feminist Legal Studies was published in August 2010.
Deborah Cheney introduces Dr Mary Gordon, early twentieth century feminist, suffragist and first woman inspector of prisons in the UK, in ‘Dr Mary Louisa Gordon (1861-1941): A Feminist Approach in Prison’.
Susan Boyd considers the application of the concept of relational autonomy to the position of single and separated mothers in ‘Autonomy for Mothers? Relational Theory and Parenting Apart’.
Heli Askoka examines the gender implications of EU migration policy in ‘”Illegal Migrants”, Gender and Vulnerability: The Case of the EU’s Returns Directive’.
Nikki Godden investigates the operation of limitation periods in tort claims for childhood sexual abuse after the House of Lords’ decision in A v Hoare, in ‘Sexual Abuse and Claims in Tort: Limitation Periods after A v Hoare (and Other Appeals)  and AB and Others v Nugent Care Society; GR v Wirral MBC ‘.
Rosemary Hunter reviews Michelle Madden Dempsey’s Prosecuting Domestic Violence: A Philosophical Analysis.
Helen Carr reviews Shelley Gavigan and Dorothy Chunn (eds), The Legal Tender of Gender: Law, Welfare and Women’s Poverty.
Volume 18 no. 1 of Feminist Legal Studies was published in April 2010.
Charlotte Leslie interrogates ‘The “Psychiatric Masquerade”: The Mental Health Exception in New Zealand Abortion Law’
SPECIAL SECTION – MARKETS AND SEXUALITIES:
Introduced by Kate Bedford
Beverley Skeggs analyses ‘The Value of Relationships: Affective Scenes and Emotional Performances’ in reality TV shows
Ara Wilson investigates the constitution of ‘Post-Fordist Desires: The Commodity Aesthetics of Bankok Sex Shows’
Camila Bassi and Ruth Fletcher respond to Skeggs’ and Wilson’s papers
Margaret Denike considers the implications of Jasbir Puar’s work in ‘Homonormative Collusions and the Subject of Rights: Reading Terrorist Assemblages‘
Yvette Russell reviews Louise du Toit’s A Philosophical Investigation of Rape: The Making and Unmaking of the Feminine Self
Jo Pearman reviews Eleanor Gordon and Gwyneth Nair’s Murder and Morality in Victorian Britain: The Story of Madeleine Smith
Jill Marshall reviews Janice Richardson’s The Classic Social Contractarians: Critical Perspectives from Contemporary Feminist Philosophy and Law
Volume 17 no.3 of Feminist Legal Studies was published in December 2009.
Dayna Nadine Scott discusses the nature of the ‘harm’ suffered by a Canadian First Nations community as a result of endocrine-disrupting chemical pollution in ‘”Gender-benders”: Sex, Law and the Constitution of Polluted Bodies’.
Geetanjali Gangoli and Khatidja Chantler consider recent reforms to UK immigration law intended to minimise the incidence of forced marriages in ‘Protecting Victims of Forced Marriage: Is Age a Protective Factor?’
SPECIAL SECTION – ‘Law, Gender and Sexuality: The Making of a Field’
Alison Diduck, Harriet Samuels, Joanne Conaghan, Les Moran, Ruth Fletcher, Sameena Dalwai and Brenna Bhandar reflect on the ‘field’ of law, gender and sexuality as an area of research and scholarship – its constitution, status, central concerns, and future directions.
Marie Fox provides an overview and feminist critique of the new HFE legislation in ‘The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008: Tinkering at the Margins’.
Brenna Bhandar reviews Joan W. Scott’s The Politics of the Veil.
Gerry Rubin reviews Anne Logan’s Feminism and Criminal Justice: A Historical Perspective.
Vol.17, issue 2 of FLS, published August 2009, is now available.
Ruth Cain interrogates the medico-legal construction of postnatal depression in ‘”A View You Won’t Get Anywhere Else?” Depressed Mothers, Public Regulation and ‘Private’ Narrative’.
Doris Buss critically engages with international criminal law in ‘Rethinking ‘Rape as a Weapon of War’ .
Sundari Anitha and Aisha Gill deconstruct dichotomies in ‘Coercion, Consent and the Forced Marriage Debate in the UK’.
Priska Gisler, Sara Steinert Borella and Caroline Weidmer investigate the dynamics of Swiss family law from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to the present in ‘Doubles Lives, Double Narratives: Tracing the Story of the Family in Rousseau, the Swiss Family Code and the Fathers’ Rights Debates’.
Rosemary Auchmuty on Burden v UK.
Ralph Sandland on Tabernacle v Secretary of State for Defence.
Joanne Conaghan on Vanessa Munro’s Law and Politics at the Perimeter: Re-Evaluating Key Debates in Feminist Theory.
Georgina Firth on Jennifer Temkin & Barbara Krahe’s Sexual Assault and the Justice Gap: A Question of Attitude.
Steve Robertson on Michael Thomson’s Endowed: Regulating the Male Sexed Body.
Wade Mansell on Tsachi Keren-Paz’s Torts, Egalitarianism and Distributive Justice.
A series of articles in recent issues of Feminist Legal Studies have explored the association between women and peace. In ‘Ples Bilong Mere: Law, Gender and Peace-Building in Solomon Islands’ (vol. 16/2, 169-194), Jennifer Corrin examined the role of women in peace-building and post-conflict public life in Solomon Islands, in light of theoretical arguments aligning women with peacefulness.
In the following issue, we published Hilary Charlesworth’s lecture ‘Are Women Peaceful? Reflections on the Role of Women in Peace-Building’, in which she identified and critiqued the ‘UN orthodoxy’ that has developed around women and peace-building. Alongside it were responses from Sari Kouvo and Corey Levine, and Kathryn Lockett, written from the perspective of their experiences working in women’s NGOs and international institutions in conflict and post-conflict situations.
In the most recent issue (17/2, now available online – click on the link to the FLS website on the right), Ralph Sandland takes issue with Charlesworth’s argument in a casenote on Tabernacle v Secretary of State for Defence  EWCA Civ 23. In this UK case, brought by members of the Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp, the Court of Appeal held that byelaws prohibiting camping on Ministry of Defence Land adjacent to the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston violated the women’s rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association under articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Sandland argues that the case presents the possibility of a ‘peaceful feminine’ subjectivity that is not disempowering for women.
Read the debate for yourself…and let us know your views.
Volume 17 No.1, published April 2009, Guest Editor Dermot Feenan
Editorial Introduction by Dermot Feenan, and five new essays on women and judging:
Erika Rackley, ‘Detailing Judicial Difference’.
Beverley Baines, ‘Contextualism, Feminism and a Canadian Women Judge’, on Justice Bertha Wilson.
Elaine Martin, ‘US Women Federal Court Judges Appointed by President Carter’, including previously unpublished interview material with Carter-appointed women judges.
Haesook Kim, ‘The Avalanche Perspective: Women Jurists in Korea 1952-2008′.
Sharyn Roach Anleu and Kathy Mack, ‘Gender, Judging and Job Satisfaction’, from their Australian Magistrates Project.
Emily Grabham on Wendy Brown’s Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire.
Marie Fox on Noreen Giffney and Myra J. Hird (eds), Queering the Non/Human.
Katie Cruz on Vanessa E. Munro and Marina Della Giusta (eds), Demanding Sex: Critical Reflections on the Regulation of Prostitution.
Jon Binnie on Brenda Cossman’s Sexual Citizens: The Legal and Cultural Regulation of Sex and Belonging.