Discussion led by Alice Vachss, with lawyers involved in the recent Supreme Court hearing DSD and NBV v Commissioner of Police, including Phillippa Kaufman QC and Karon Monaghan QC.Chaired by Harriet Wistrich, solicitor and founder of Centre for Women’s Justice.
Alice Vachssis the former Chief of the Special Victims Bureau of the Queens (NYC) District Attorney's Office. During her tenure, she tried more than 100 felony cases to verdict, including rape, child sexual assault, elder abuse, domestic violence, cult abuse, and homicide. Under her leadership, the Special Victims Bureau innovated new approaches and techniques in sex-crimes prosecution which ranged from trail-blazing the use of DNA evidence in New York courts, to firing the first shots in the still-current battle to modernize statutes of limitations for sexual assault. She is author of Sex Crimes: Then and Now. In which she states, "My first lesson about sex crimes prosecution was that perpetrators were not the only enemy”. She shows how the system is heavily weighted against victims. In what has come to be her trademarked term, she brands as "rape collaborators” police officers and judges whose ingrained attitudes aid and comfort criminals; elected officials and attorneys concerned only with their political futures; fickle juries seemingly impervious to compelling evidence; and a legal system sceptical of cries of rape.
Alice is very familiar with the British justice system, and has and has trained criminal; justice practitioners here as well as in the United States, https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2007/jun/01/ukcrime.law. Her new book (on sale at the event) also explores the English justice system. The discussion will focus on ideas about how to challenge inherent weaknesses in the system and improve the rape conviction rates in the UK.
Refreshments provided. Event time 17.45-20.30. Registration from 17.45 for a 18.15 start.