Understanding Complainant Credibility in Rape Appeals: A Case Study of High Court Judgments and Judges’ Perspectives in India

Ravinder Barn, Ved Kumari

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Despite the growing number of reported cases of rape and sexual assault against women in India, there is an insufficient understanding of the perspectives and responses of the Indian Criminal Justice System in general and the judiciary in particular. By employing a framework of ‘complainant credibility’, this paper examines High Court judgments and judges’ perspectives in rape appeals. In placing a robust and systematic focus on one aspect of the Indian jurisdiction, this paper sheds light on how competing realities are understood by the judiciary to inform decision making about complainant credibility and suspect’s guilt in affirming or overturning trial court decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-453
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Criminology
Issue number3
Early online date9 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

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