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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Corroborating the Evidence of a Rape Victim in Botswana: Time for a Fresh Look
Author:Quansah, E.K.
Periodical:Botswana Notes and Records (ISSN 0525-5090)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Botswana
Southern Africa
sexual offences
Women's Issues
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Sexual abuse
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40980145
Abstract:The corroboration rule in rape cases dictates that the evidence of the complainant need not necessarily be corroborated before a court or jury convicts upon it but it does require the administration of a corroboration warning (cautionary rule) that a court could not safely rely upon such evidence without corroboration or some evidence of trustworthiness. Failure to administer the warning will lead an appellate court to quash a conviction even though adequate corroborative evidence may exist. The rule, which started as a rule of judicial practice, has now metamorphosed into a rule of law. Courts hardly convict without corroboration of the complainant's evidence. Thus the law has been unduly slanted in favour of the accused. The author looks briefly at the development of the rule in England, from where it was transplanted to Botswana, and then at how it has been applied in Botswana. He examines the validity of the reasons which are usually given to justify the requirement of corroboration of the complainant's evidence in sexual cases, viz. the frequency of false charges of rape, the emotion raised in a jury by a charge of rape, and the difficulty in disproving an accusation of rape, and evaluates the present efficacy of the corroboration rule, arguing that it should be repealed. Notes, ref.