Corroboration ruling can be ‘real turning point’ in securing justice for survivors of rape

The Courts decision could have a transformative impact for survivors of sexual violence.

A High Court ruling on corroboration in rape cases has been welcomed by the Scottish Greens justice spokesperson, Maggie Chapman MSP, who has said that she hopes it can be “a real turning point” in securing justice for survivors of rape.

This important and potentially transformational decision by seven senior judges followed an examination of a very distressing case which highlighted the damaging effects of the law as it was previously being interpreted.

The ruling, which followed a referral by the Lord Advocate, Dorothy Bain KC, could see previously unprosecuted rape and sexual offence cases in the courts.

Ms Chapman said:

“This is an important decision and I hope that it will be a real turning point in dismantling one of the biggest barriers to justice faced by survivors of rape.

“Far too many people have been failed and retraumatised by our system rather than getting the justice they deserve.

“I commend the action of the Lord Advocate in referring the matter to the Appeal Court and the judges for their clear and common sense conclusion that evidence of a survivor's distress can confirm not only that there was no consent, but the fact of the physical act itself.

“My thoughts are also with all of the survivors who have suffered from the previous interpretation of the law. This can be an important step in building a better and fairer system that recognises and respects their experience.”