Adversarial justice system
Sir, – In the last few days, some TDs have argued that rape trials should be changed so that they are no longer “adversarial” to the complainant.
Unfortunately, sending an accused person to prison for between five and 10 years is an adversarial activity; inherently so.
If any of us were wrongly or unjustly accused of rape, in many cases our only chance of acquittal would depend on the opportunity of our counsel to challenge and test the accuser’s version of events rigorously.
In other words, to be adversarial.
We must recognise that innocent people can be and have been convicted of rape, and those numbers could increase significantly if defence counsel is restricted from scrutinising the complainant’s evidence as thoroughly as possible. – Yours, etc,