On 30th October the family of Jourdain John-Baptiste will have their last chance to persuade a court to reverse the CPS decision not to charge the prime suspectRead More
Please support Tracey John-Baptiste's campaign for a more accountable criminal justice system - and justice for Jourdain.Read More
Legal action issued against Crown Prosecution Service by family of 22-year-old Jourdain John-Baptiste in relation to 2015 balcony deathRead More
Many thanks to the volunteers who walked the London Legal Walk with us. ...And a massive thank you to everyone who has sponsored us.Read More
Justice for Women, in conjunction with the Centre for Women’s Justice, have commissioned a study examining the criminal justice response to women who kill men who have been abusive to them. The study aims to examine the impacts of the changes instituted in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 and to identify the gaps that remain in order that outcomes for women who have killed abusive men can be further improved.Read More
We have launched a new campaign to challenge the CPS decision not to prosecute despite strong evidence surrounding Jourdain Baptiste’s death…and we need your help.Read More
by Harriet Wistrich for The Guardian
When the Parole Board decision to release John Worboyswas reported in the media in early January, I was asked to comment. This was because I was representing two of his victims, DSD and NBV, in a successful challengeof the police investigation under the Human Rights Act.
My clients had not been consulted, and first heard about the decision in the news. They were shocked and horrified. Both were convinced he would offend again and asked if there was anything they could do. Calls from many other victims followed; some had reported him previously but their cases were not prosecuted, others had never come forward before – but now felt compelled to do whatever they could to stop someone they believed remained a danger to women from being freed to offend again.
Full article here
The Divisional Court today handed down judgment following a judicial review challenge brought by two of John Worboys’ victims known as DSD and NBV.Read More
The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment in a landmark case against the Metropolitan Police Service, brought by two women who were victims of John Worboys, “Black cab rapist”.Read More
So many thanks again from everyone involved in this case but particularly from DSD and NBV. They have truly been heartened by the supportRead More
We can confirm that in the absence of any unexpected and compelling response from the Parole Board to our pre action correspondence, we intend to launch judicial review proceedings against the Parole Board next week.Read More
Today CWJ is launching a CrowdJustice crowdfunding page to raise funds so two victims can legally challenge the decision to release John Worboys. This is a critical case about taking violence against women seriously and improving state accountability to ensure that victims are adequately protected.Read More
Judicial review hearing 17 and 18 January
The women bringing the case (claimants), lawyer and campaigners are available for comment. Demonstration of support outside court from 9.30 on 17 January.
Royal Courts of Justice, Court 3, Strand, London WC2A 2LL - hearing starting at 10.30
On 17 and 18 January the Divisional Court will hear an application for judicial review of the Government’s policyin relation to the retention, recording and disclosure of criminal convictions arising from soliciting offences.
The claim, brought by a group of women, formerly involved in prostitution, will argue for the first time that the Government legislative scheme discriminates against women and is contrary to the UK’s legal obligations in respect of the trafficking of women. They will also rely on previous findings that the scheme is a disproportionate interference of their private life.
“I met a pimp aged 15 and two weeks later I was thrown into the violent and abusive world of prostitution. Rape became an occupational hazard but I was arrested, charged and criminalised for loitering for the purposes of being a common prostitute. After more than twenty years out of prostitution, I am still having to explain my criminal record to any prospective employer. It feels like explaining my history of abuse” Fiona Broadfoot, Claimant.
The women bringing the claim were exploited and trafficked as teenagers and forced to survive through prostitution for a number of years before getting out. Most of those who have been in street prostitution have multiple convictions under s1 Street Offences Act 1959 which means that when applying for a range of jobs or volunteering activity, DBS checks will result in their histories of prostitution being made known many years after they have left that life behind.
“It doesn’t matter what it is – trying to help out at my kids’ school or the local brownies’ coffee morning, trying to be a governor or a councillor, applying to education or training or employment – even volunteering in so many fields – with children, with the elderly, in care, with vulnerable people, with youth work, with social work – all need a DBS and then you get treated like some sort of pariah or sex offender! But it’s not fair – I never chose that life and I fought hard to get out of it but I’m always being pulled back to it as though that’s who I am but it’s not who I am.” Prostitution survivor.
The women describe their criminal records as a “catalogue of their abuse”, but as victims of rape and sexual abuse they appear to have no entitlement to anonymity in the disclosure process.
“As the judge recognised in an earlier hearing in this case, attitudes to women who have been groomed into prostitution have changed. Most are controlled and coerced and therefore meet the wider definition of trafficking. As such this policy is inconsistent with the Modern Slavery Act as it continues to punish victims” said Harriet Wistrich, solicitor for the women.
“We wish to see women’s existing records expunged, immediate amendments to existing legislation and guidance around recording, retention and disclosure and, in future, women should not be criminalised for their involvement in prostitution but offered help and support to access a full range of viable opportunities and choices besides prostitution,” Said spokesperson for nia, (charity supporting the women).
For more information about the case:http://centreforwomensjustice.org.uk/2017/12/18/prostitution-convictions-january/#more-1977
Harriet Wistrich (Lawyer from Birnberg Peirce acting for the women and Director of Centre for Women’s Justice, supporting the women) 020 7911 0166 or 07903 912 641
Heather Harvey (Research and development manager at nia– a charity working on all forms of violence against women and girls and supporting the women) 0207 683 1270 or 07472 145141.
The Disclosure and Barring Regulations
Two claims have been issued, one on behalf of DSD and NBV, two of Worboys victims and one on behalf of the Mayor of London. In addition an application has been lodged today by News Group Newspapers Ltd with a request to also be joined in the proceedings.Read More
‘DSD’ and ‘NBV’, the two claimants in the case against the metropolitan police arising from their abject failures to investigate the original multiple allegations made against Worboys* have expressed their shock and dismay at the latest failures by criminal justice agencies.Read More
The Centre for Women’s Justice has embarked on a new research project with Justice for Women looking at the criminal justice system experiences of women who kill violent male partners.Read More