Top Scottish judge: rape victims “should not attend court”

Scotland’s most senior judge, Lord Carloway, “told the BBC his ‘ultimate objective’ was for alleged [rape] victims to be able to give filmed statements within 24 hours. The judge also said their cross-examination should take place well before the trial and away from court.” The idea would presumably be a non-starter in the United States owing to our constitution’s Confrontation Clause. [Lucy Adams, BBC]


  • I’m sympathetic, but yeah.

    I’m in favor of an even more radical reform: get the jurors out of the courtroom while the case is being tried. An objection is raised, if it’s sustained, the question does not even get to the jurors.


  • Perhaps he has a point that it shouldn’t become a “memory test” when things come to trial after several years. But the real problem there is that they aren’t brought to trial for several years. When your justice system has massive delays, that’s not good for anyone.

    If you aren’t ready for trial, how can you effectively question or cross-examine the alleged victim? If both sides ARE ready for trial, why is there a significant delay before their IS a trial?

    • David,

      I have said this for years……

      The only people who benefit from delays are judges and attorneys. Neither have any interest in a “speedy” trial. Judges have no incentive to hear more cases and lawyers make more money the longer a trial goes on.

      Alleged victims, the accused and everyone’s family, lives and property suffer, but the legal people are still making money.

      • Can’t agree with you on this, Mr. carver. A truly guilty defendant benefits from any delay in the process. Witnesses can disappear, be intimidated, lose the sharpness of their memories of the (crime) event, the accused’s attorneys will have more time to cook up an alibi or make a case against someone else, etc.

        Of course, the situation is the reversed when the accused is actually innocent.