Rethinking Rape Law: International and Comparative Perspectives, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Rethinking Rape Law

International and Comparative Perspectives, 1st Edition

Edited by Clare McGlynn, Vanessa E. Munro


368 pages

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Rethinking Rape Law provides a comprehensive and critical analysis of contemporary rape laws, across a range of jurisdictions. In a context in which there has been considerable legal reform of sexual offences, Rethinking Rape Law engages with developments spanning national, regional and international frameworks. It is only when we fully understand the differences between the law of rape in times of war and in times of peace, between common law and continental jurisdictions, between societies in transition and societies long inured to feminist activism, that we are able to understand and evaluate current practices, with a view to change and a better future for victims of sexual crimes. Written by leading authors from across the world, this is the first authoritative text on rape law that crosses jurisdictions, examines its conceptual and theoretical foundations, and sets the law in its policy context. It is destined to become the primary source for scholarly work and debate on sexual offences laws.


Some chapters are extremely tight, well-written analyses of the progress of rape law reform—the chapters by McGlynn, Gotell, and Rush particularly stand out in this context; others are more descriptive although even in this context, well-crafted accounts of recent developments in jurisdictions such as Croatia (Radacic and Turkovic) and South Africa (Mills) are extremely useful and informative.

- Joanne Conaghan for Feminist Legal Studies (2013) 21:211–215

Table of Contents

1. Rethinking Rape Law: An Introduction, Clare McGlynn and Vanessa E. Munro Part 1: Conceptual and Theoretical Engagements 2. From Consent to Coercion: Evaluating International and Domestic Frameworks for the Criminalization of Rape, Vanessa E. Munro 3. Rethinking the Criminal Law’s Response to Sexual Offences: On Theory and Context, Michelle Madden Dempsey and Jonathan Herring Part 2: International and Regional Perspectives 4. International Criminal Law and Sexual Violence: An Overview, Alison Cole 5. Learning our Lessons? The Rwanda Tribunal Record on Prosecuting Rape, Doris Buss 6. The Force of Shame, Karen Engle and Annelise Lottman 7. Everyday Rape: International Human Rights Law and Violence Against Women in Peacetime, Alice Edwards 8. Defining Rape under the European Convention on Human Rights: Torture, Consent and Equality, Patricia Londono 9. Rape Law Reform in Africa: More of the Same or New Opportunities?, Heléne Combrinck Part 3: National Perspectives 10. Feminist Activism and Rape Law Reform in England and Wales: A Sisyphean Struggle?, Clare McGlynn 11. All Change or Business as Usual? Reforming the Law of Rape in Scotland, Sharon Cowan 12. Rethinking Croatian Rape Laws: Force, Consent and the ‘Contribution of the Victim’, Ivana Radačić and Ksenija Turković 13. Rape in Italian Law: Towards The Recognition of Sexual Autonomy, Rachel Fenton 14. Rethinking Rape Law in Sweden: Coercion, Consent or Non-Voluntariness?, Monica Burman 15. Canadian Sexual Assault Law: Neoliberalism and the Erosion of Feminist-Inspired Law Reforms, Lise Gotell 16. Rape, Law and American Society, Donald A. Dripps 17. Criminal Law and the Reformation of Rape in Australia, Peter D. Rush 18. Reforming the Law of Rape in South Africa, Shereen Mills Part 4: New Agendas and Directions 19. Independent Legal Representation for Complainants in Rape Trials, Fiona Raitt 20. Jury Deliberation and Complainant Credibility in Rape Trials, Louise Ellison and Vanessa E. Munro 21. The Mythology of Male Rape: Social Attitudes and Law Enforcement, Phil Rumney and Natalia Hanley 22. The Cultural Silence of Rape in UK South Asian Communities, Aisha Gill 23. Sexual Assault of Women with Mental Disabilities: A Canadian Perspective, Janine Benedet and Isabel Grant

About the Editors

Clare McGlynn is Professor of Law at Durham University in the UK. She is the author of The Woman Lawyer: making the difference, Families and the European Union: law, politics and pluralism and editor of Legal Feminisms: theory and practice.

Vanessa E. Munro is Professor of Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Nottingham. She is author of Law and Politics at the Perimeter: Re-Evaluating Key Debates in Feminist Theory and co-editor of Sexuality and the Law: Feminist Engagements and Demanding Sex: Critical Reflections on the Regulation of Prostitution.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Comparative
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / Gender & the Law
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies