The rape conviction rate

The Herald reports on the law commission inquiry into sex cases, and the recommendation that an inquiry be held into whether there is a better way to conduct such trials than the adversarial one.

I have no problems with this, and am generally supportive of changes which are less “brutalising and distressing” for complainants.

However I get worried when I read:

Sir Geoffrey said there was also concern at the high number of acquittals in rape cases.

There may be a high number of acquittals because the Police policy now seems to be to prosecute no matter how flimsy the evidence. Any suggestion that people should be more easily convicted despite a lack of evidence is somewhat chilling.

As I said, no problems with changes to make it more complainant or victim friendly. But any move to make it easier to get convictions would be of concern. We should not throw away all principles of guilty beyond reasonable doubt just because most people think Clint Rickards unfairly was found Not Guilty.

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