German and Swedish procedures as models for the empowerment of racial minority women in rape trials

Wolhuter, Lorraine (2010). German and Swedish procedures as models for the empowerment of racial minority women in rape trials. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, 38(1) pp. 1–16.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlcj.2009.11.001

Abstract

Drawing on the concept of intersectionality developed by Crenshaw, this article analyses the erasure of racial minority women in rape cases, and assesses the ways in which English adversarialism compounds this erasure. It outlines the contours of a transformative procedure for rape trials that includes racial minority women’s experiences of intersectional oppression. Based on a comparative analysis of German and Swedish law, it contends that the introduction of auxiliary prosecutors or victims’ lawyers in the U.K. would contribute to the generation of a space for the inclusion of such experiences within adversarial trials. It invokes recent jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, as well as Council of Europe provisions, to argue that auxiliary prosecutors or victims’ lawyers would not infringe defendants’ right to a fair trial, and concludes that objections to their introduction in the U.K. are not persuasive.

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