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Harnessing the response March 30, 2018

Posted by Tomboktu in Equality, Ethics, Feminism, Gaelic Football, League of Ireland.
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[This was originally a response to a comment on IEL’s post  Quite a crowd …….. but the, eh, “gaffer” (i.e. WBS) suggested it be made a post.]

I expect that taking that support [at the gatherings across the Island to express support for the woman who was the victim in the events that led to the trial of Paddy Jackson, Stuart Olding, Blane McIlroy, and Rory Harrison] and turning it into practical changes would probably entail the RCC or NWCI or sister organisations organising or coordinating specific actions.

‘Places’ that responses could go next include

  • revisiting trial and prosecution procedures,
  • standards and practices of media providers, including the ‘mainstream’ print and broadcast media and social media,
  • standards and practices of sports organisations,
  • decisions of commercial organisations that sponsor sports organisations,
  • education programmes both in schools and colleges and in other settings,
  • police and medical and social care responses to all forms of gender-based violence,
  • lobbying for political responses to rape and domestic violence and their victims is a range of settings (including, for example, the nature and quantity of support provided to victims of sexual abuse in the asylum system, including where rape or assault occurred outside this jurisdiction),
  • harnessing public support to boycott organisations – commercial, sporting, political, social – that respond inadequately to rape, sexual assault, gender-based violence.

When I was born, the concept of sexual harassment was not a legal concept, but activists lobbied and harried and secured that legal change. That gives me hope to say that there is no reason why that concept could not be expanded, or a new concept introduced (and given legal weight), to prohibit, and to provide effective remedies to, the disgraceful response that occurred on social media, including the comments by the Laois and the Drogheda United players.

I am also reminded that we changed our criminal laws when they proved inadequate to responding to wealth-producing crime to enable the proceeds to be seized, and would be interested to see if the law could be changed to enable sub-criminal sanctions to be imposed in cases of alleged rape, sexual violence or gender-based violence, where the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ standard could not be met but it is sufficiently clear that unacceptable behaviour was committed.

On the other hand, a challenge just at the moment is that the NWCI for the next eight or so weeks has its eye on the referendum. The RCC would be a suitable leadership organisation for a major national programme of work if it wished to take on that role, but its financial resources might make it difficult for it to do a significant volume of work.

Comments»

1. E C - March 30, 2018

“…would be interested to see if the law could be changed to enable sub-criminal sanctions to be imposed in cases of alleged rape, sexual violence or gender-based violence, where the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ standard could not be met but it is sufficiently clear that unacceptable behaviour was committed.”

That part is very interesting. Scenarios and examples would have to be used to flesh out that kind of approach, by those with sufficient knowledge of these things more than the like of me, but that is food for thought.
Everyone would have their own opinions on that case but jury selection seemed key to this. Two thirds of the original jury male to one third female, with allegedly one jury member going on social media during the case when they shouldn’t have if I’m right in that…

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6to5against - March 30, 2018

Anecdotally i understand that the prosecution in a rape case often aims for the sort of ratio we read about in Belfast

I dont know what evidence its based on or how true that is.

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2. WorldbyStorm - March 30, 2018

I’m hearing a lot about the Scottish third verdict of not proven. What do people think of that?

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3. Logan - March 30, 2018

“Everyone would have their own opinions on that case but jury selection seemed key to this. Two thirds of the original jury male to one third female”

Not sure what your point is there, that would be a pretty normal ratio to be thrown up if juries are picked at random amongst those called.

Also, if you are suggesting that more effort should be given to have gender balanced juries, I dont know if there is any evidence that men on a jury are less likely to convict.

There were a lot of factors influencing how this case went, but I have not seen anywhere else a suggestion that the particular individuals chosen for the jury were an issue.

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Miguel62 - April 2, 2018

Actually, in a case involving physical violence against women, prosecuters will try to get men on the jury and the defence will try to get women. Theory is that men will think “what a scumbag, attacking a woman” whereas women will think “I wonder what she did to deserve it?” So i was told by a very experienced solicitor in criminal law.

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4. Logan - March 30, 2018

“…would be interested to see if the law could be changed to enable sub-criminal sanctions to be imposed in cases of alleged rape, sexual violence or gender-based violence, where the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ standard could not be met but it is sufficiently clear that unacceptable behaviour was committed.”

I think that is already possible in the UK is it not, with ASBO’s?

The thing is that ASBO’s are for ongoing behaviour, so i am not sure if they could be utilised in, say, a one-off case of groping in a nightclub.

But I think we should remember that ASBO’s in reality have tended to be used disproportionally against the more marginalised in society from what I know of them.

Perhaps they could provide a cautionary tale against the overly swift and enthusiastic adoption of “sub-criminal sanctions”?

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5. Tomboktu - March 31, 2018

I see Gary Walsh has modified the photograph on his Twitter profile to blur the name of the sponsor of the Laois team.

Photo from Gary Walsh Twitter profile

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6. Tomboktu - March 31, 2018

Here’s something useful we could copy, from last week:

Iceland Unanimously Passes Landmark Law On Sexual Consent

Iceland’s Parliament passed a law putting the onus of consent on being told “yes”; rather than not being told “no”.

Rest of the story here: https://grapevine.is/news/2018/03/23/iceland-unanimously-passes-landmark-law-on-sexual-consent/

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