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

Gerry, Felicity, Sjölin, Catarina and Urbas, Gregor (2015). Patterns of Sexual Behaviour: The Law of Evidence: Back to the Future in Australia and England. International Commentary on Evidence,11(1):29-65.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 84279116xPUB361
Title Patterns of Sexual Behaviour: The Law of Evidence: Back to the Future in Australia and England
Author Gerry, Felicity
Sjölin, Catarina
Urbas, Gregor
Journal Name International Commentary on Evidence
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 11
Issue Number 1
ISSN 2194-5691   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
eISSN 1554-4567
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84930971797
Start Page 29
End Page 65
Total Pages 37
Place of Publication Germany
Publisher Walter de Gruyter GmbH
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
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.
Keywords Child abuse
Court of appeals
Sexual behaviour
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/ice-2014-0012   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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Created: Tue, 26 Jul 2016, 12:58:44 CST