In response to concerns that prosecutions for rape often fail to lead to successful convictions, Scottish Solicitor-General Elish Angiolini has released the results of a review that began in 2004. The Scottish law Commissionís investigation of rape law is the first of its kind in the country, according to the BBC.
Suggestions include changing how police officers respond to rape allegations and providing training to lawyers who handle rape cases to increase support for victims.
Legal experts involved with the review suggested that the requirement of corroboration from an independent witness be stricken from the law, given the difficulties that that condition imposes on a prosecution of a rape, reports the BBC.
According to the BBC, while 900 rapes have been reported to Scottish authorities, a mere 39 have resulted in a conviction of the attacker. In April, the United Kingdom drew criticism when it was revealed that the number of offenders cautioned for rape is increasing, as is the number of rape reports, but that convictions are becoming rarer. The news about cautioning came just a few weeks after an announcement that the government would be exploring changes in the way rape cases are handled in order to raise the conviction rate.
Media Resources: BBC 1/30/06; 6/14/06; Feminist Daily News Wire 4/11/06
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .