Sexual Offences Involving Rape

McPherson, Rachel and Burgess, Nicholas and Gormley, Jay and Tata, Cyrus (2021) Sexual Offences Involving Rape. Scottish Sentencing Council, Parliament House, Edinburgh.

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The remit of this research, as set by the Scottish Sentencing Council, was to offer a review of the sentencing of rape (under sections 1 and 18 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 and common law equivalents) in Scotland and in other jurisdictions. It was considered that such a review would include amongst other things, the available data on sentencing in this area, an overview of studies which have examined public perceptions of rape sentencing and reference to relevant academic literature such as that which consider the wider principles and purposes of sentencing. It was never the intention that this review provide an analysis of current definitions of rape, an extended discussion of the problems pertaining to low conviction rates in this area or the feminist framework which situates rape as a form of violence against women, all of which lie outwith the Council’s remit. There is a significant body of legal and sociological literature on the subject of rape which is not the focus of this report.


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