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Permission for Judicial Review of CPS Rape Policy

(26 Posts)
334bu Thu 30-Jul-20 19:30:42

Update on Help stop women being denied justice after rape

Dear Supprters,

We have breaking news!

Today the Court of Appeal granted permission for judicial review of CPS Rape Policy. We are delighted!

The historic decision at the Court of Appeal today (30 July) has overturned a High Court decision in March 2020 that women’s groups should not be granted a full judicial review of CPS rape charging policy and practice. It comes on the same day latest CPS rape figures confirm prosecutions collapsing.

The Court went on to grant permission and directed that the full judicial review be heard as soon as possible in the Court of Appeal itself.

We at the End Violence Against Women Coalition and our lawyers at the Centre for Women’s Justice, are delighted that we will now have the opportunity to properly lay all their evidence of a damaging and secretive change in CPS policy and practice on charging decisions in rape cases before the court, and are eager to do so.

Today’s judgement offers hope in a case that has attracted enormous public interest, brought by a small women’s charity and funded by hundreds of many small donations, many of which came from rape survivors. It shows the huge amount of support behind the case and we are so grateful for all the contributions made by you, our backers. The case has already led to commentary around “the effective decriminalisation of rape”.

The news comes on the same day that the new CPS figures were published which show the appalling state of affairs for survivors seeking justice after they have been raped – who currently face a 1 in 70 chance of their case being charged.

End Violence Against Women Director Sarah Green said:

“We’re delighted in today’s judgement. We're really pleased that the Court today showed enormous interest in the substance of our case and its serious public interest. We look forward to our day in court at the full hearing. We urge all those following our case and especially those who are elected and who have any position of authority or leadership in the justice system to read the evidence on our website and to ask questions about what is going on. This case has been brought because women have been denied justice and protection. Today validates our resistance to this.”

Centre for Women’s Justice Director Harriet Wistrich said:

“This historic decision by the Court of Appeal will allow a proper examination of the CPS approach. They have accepted it is arguable that the CPS did change their policy, failed to consult and their actions ultimately led to a fall in rape prosecutions which discriminates against women who are the majority of victims. This may amount to systemic illegality”


The statistics are published the day of rape convictions hitting a record low, and just two weeks after the Police and CPS were told they would have to stop using forms which demand over-intrusive examination of rape complainants’ mobile phones, following another CWJ case challenging this practice.

It is EVAW’s position, as set out in their Judicial Review against the CPS for their failure to prosecute rape, that this disastrous collapse in cases proceeding is a result of a covert policy change, meaning that in 2016-17 prosecutors were encouraged not to charge so called “weaker cases” with the aim of improving their conviction rate.

The evidence in the case is so powerful that EVAW, in an unprecedented move, made all the information they compiled public in June in order that individuals can see for themselves the weight behind the case.

Need for political attention - Women’s groups have consistently called on the ongoing Government Rape Review to be made high priority, with Ministerial leadership. Today’s statistics show just how urgently needed change is to ensure that survivors are able to access justice in the future.

Future Plans:

We are determined to continue to be a powerful advocate for women and girls affected by violence and will continue to update you on the case.

Our supporters (you!) are a really crucial part of this, adding power to our member's voices. We'd very much like to keep you updated on our activities - campaigning, legal challenges, research projects and fundraising moving forwards. If you would like to receive updates, please sign up here. Your email address will be stored securely and safely, only used by our team and never shared with external organisations. You can manage your preferences and unsubscribe at any time.

If you aren't already do follow us and Centre for Women's Justice on Twitter and/or Facebook to stay up to date with our work and campaigns.

Twitter @EVAWUK @CentreWJ

Facebook @endviolenceagainstwomen @centreforwomensjustice

We hope you are all keeping as safe and well as possible in these times.

All best,

The EVAW Team

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OP’s posts: |
Thelnebriati Thu 30-Jul-20 19:34:31

This is huge!

highame Thu 30-Jul-20 19:39:16


ScrimpshawTheSecond Thu 30-Jul-20 19:49:34

flowers Bravo!

Whatsnewpussyhat Thu 30-Jul-20 19:59:55

Amazing wine

Imnobody4 Thu 30-Jul-20 20:19:51

Brilliant news, a great result.

MouseandCat Thu 30-Jul-20 20:26:18


rednsparkley Thu 30-Jul-20 20:34:21

This is brilliant news 🥂

OvaHere Thu 30-Jul-20 20:34:45

I received this email earlier. Great news!

boatyardblues Thu 30-Jul-20 20:47:55

Are EVAW in need of enthusiastic gardeners with shovels?

CourtneyLurve Thu 30-Jul-20 20:51:01

Well done, ladies.

Ereshkigalangcleg Thu 30-Jul-20 20:52:22

So pleased to see something good for once! Well done EVAW and CWJ thanks

SheWhoMustNotBeHeard Thu 30-Jul-20 21:08:59


MsMarvellous Thu 30-Jul-20 21:18:38

That's fantastic news.

Bella2020 Thu 30-Jul-20 22:28:07

Great news!

OhHolyJesus Thu 30-Jul-20 22:29:33

That is bloody amazing! So nice to see good news before bed. Huge congrats to those who fought for this. Truly thrilled, well done!

truthisarevolutionaryact Thu 30-Jul-20 22:38:54

Fantastic news. flowers to all who have worked for this.

IloveJKRowling Thu 30-Jul-20 22:41:12

This is brilliant news.

Angryresister Thu 30-Jul-20 22:56:03

About time. The statistics today were awful, thank you to everyone concerned.

TehBewilderness Thu 30-Jul-20 23:00:37

It is stunning to hear that they have refused to prosecute because they did not feel that a written confession was sufficient evidence of the crime.

FloralBunting Thu 30-Jul-20 23:16:53


sawdustformypony Fri 31-Jul-20 11:39:27

Well done for getting this to judicial review. It'll be interesting what the Court of Appeal makes of it all. I'll have to go and mug up on how such cases work - Wednesbury test and all that ?

sawdustformypony Fri 31-Jul-20 12:26:52

From that link above, I think that the tests to be applied before the CA can quash the CPS's policy decsions are:

1. In making the decision, the defendant took into account factors that ought not to have been taken into account, or

2. The defendant failed to take into account factors that ought to have been taken into account, or

3. The decision was so unreasonable that no reasonable authority would ever consider imposing it.

And according to the HL (now the Supreme Court) in the GCHQ case from the Thatcher years, is that something is unreasonable if it is a decision which is so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it

and as to the case itself, is the policy that is being challenged that, where the CPS says it will only prosecute cases deemed to have realistic chance of a guilty verdict ?

wellbehavedwomen Fri 31-Jul-20 13:36:22

is the policy that is being challenged that, where the CPS says it will only prosecute cases deemed to have realistic chance of a guilty verdict ?

They've declined to prosecute where someone was raped at gunpoint. They've also declined to prosecute where a stranger raped a lesbian. Mixed messages might have been sent, apparently. And a gun wasn't that serious a threat.

1.5% of reported cases - REPORTED - resulted in a charge one year.

The Victim's Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird, has said that rape has effectively been decriminalised. And it's a new policy. Five years ago, far more people got justice.

I think most people would regard that threshold as fairly outrageously high. Don't you?

sawdustformypony Fri 31-Jul-20 13:49:34

They've declined to prosecute where someone was raped at gunpoint. They've also declined to prosecute where a stranger raped a lesbian. Mixed messages might have been sent, apparently. And a gun wasn't that serious a threat.

Both those sounds like they would have had a realistic prospect of conviction. Are the prosecutors not following their own guidance ? There's a difference between a policy that is the wrong policy and policy that is not being followed by CPS staff.

I'm reading through the EVAW's evidence at the moment. I see that they include correspondence with the DPP, but I haven't come to that yet.

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