Interpreting sexual offence verdicts: public attitudes to complainer anonymity and the “not proven” debate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The Scottish Government has committed to abolishing the distinctive "not proven" verdict. This article shares the findings of a national opinion poll commissioned with support of GCU's Social, Criminal and Legal Justice Research Group exploring (a) public attitudes to complainer anonymity in sexual offence cases in Scotland and (b) how verdicts of "guilty", "not guilty" and "not proven" impact upon public support for reporting restrictions prohibiting complainers being identified.

While recording generally high levels of public support for the principle that complainers in sexual cases should not be identified, our polling data suggests that different acquittal labels can have a substantial impact on public support for complainer anonymity, highlighting important differences between "not guilty" and "not proven" verdicts and between male and female respondents' attitudes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalEdinburgh Law Review
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • complainer anonymity
  • sexual offences
  • not proven

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Interpreting sexual offence verdicts: public attitudes to complainer anonymity and the “not proven” debate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this