Scottish government commits to reform the law on rape

Excellent news – via Rape Crisis Scotland news with permission

On Wednesday 5th September 2007, the First Minister gave a commitment to prioritise reform of the law on rape, following on from the Scottish Law Commission’s review. In his speech, “Principles and Priorities: Programme for Government”, Mr Salmond says:

“In the area of criminal law, we’ll introduce our Rape and Sexual Offences Bill – to reform the law on rape and sexual offences in light of the Scottish Law Commission’s review.

Presiding Officer, if any member was ever in doubt about the need for action in this area, the figures published yesterday will have made the position clear.

At the same time as a 10% rise in sexual assaults, clear up rates for rape and indecent assault fell to 67% and 59% respectively.

Part of that is due to a lack of confidence from victims that the legal process will secure a conviction and it is therefore right that this Government and this Parliament acts.”

In response to questioning from Margaret Curran MSP, the First Minister also confirmed that he would match the previous administration’s record £3m funding for rape crisis services in Scotland. Mr Salmond further confirmed that he would reform the law in Scotland relating to the admission of sexual history evidence.

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