To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) stakeholder group meetings, (b) literature reviews and (c) expert interviews have been undertaken to examine the role of juries and courts in rape cases as part of the Government's Rape Review.
1 September 2020
The Government recognises that the decline in the number of rape and serious sexual offences being charged and prosecuted in England and Wales is a cause for significant concern.
As such an end-to-end review of the criminal justice response to rape and serious sexual offences was commissioned in March 2019 by the National Criminal Justice Board (CJB). A sub-group of the CJB made up of experts and operational partners from across the criminal justice system is driving forward the review
To answer your questions in turn:
a) The review has established a Stakeholder Reference Group, which is made up of victim organisations, and is consulted to ensure the review considers the victim experience of the whole criminal justice system. The review team has met with this group three times, in May 2019, February 2020 and April 2020. Members of the Group have also been engaged by the Review team separately to discuss specific elements of the review.
b) The review has commissioned a Literature Review of research currently in the public domain that studies the end to end progression of rape cases in England and Wales, including findings relevant to the role of juries and courts
c) Five expert interviews were undertaken with barristers as part of a wider suite of qualitative and quantitative work which included 23 focus groups and in-depth interviews and 691 surveys with police officers, specialist victims support services including Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs), barristers, HMCTS and CPS prosecutors.