The significance of compellability in the prosecution of domestic assault

With the declaration of the competence and compellability of a spouse to give evidence against a violent partner it was hoped that a significant barrier to the effective prosecution of domestic' assault had been removed. Examination of the theoretical arguments for and against compulsion sugges...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:The British journal of criminology
Main Author: Cretney, Antonia
Contributors: Davis, Gwynn (Author)
Format: Print Article
Language:English
Published: 1997
In:The British journal of criminology
Year: 1997, Volume: 37, Issue: 1, Pages: 75-89
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Availability in Tübingen:Present in Tübingen.
IFK: In: Z 7
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Summary:With the declaration of the competence and compellability of a spouse to give evidence against a violent partner it was hoped that a significant barrier to the effective prosecution of domestic' assault had been removed. Examination of the theoretical arguments for and against compulsion suggests that these are finely balanced. Empirical investigation reveals that, partly for pragmatic and partly for humanitarian reasons, the compellability provision is not enforced. This means that assailants still deem their victims responsible for the continuance or otherwise of a criminal prosecution against them, while from the point of view of the prosecuting authorities the woman's withdrawal of co-operation continues to lay her open to criticism. It follows that prosecutions for domestic' assault are still characterized by a sense of frustration and failure on all sides
ISSN:0007-0955