Every month, in a relaxed location in central London the London Legal Salon will meet to discuss the big questions facing the law today. Attendance is always free. This blog will publish articles by attendees and the organisers to supplement the debates at our monthly meetings.

Every meeting will be introduced by a short talk from a lawyer or commentator in the area under examination. The discussion will then be opened to those attending to make contributions or ask questions. The meetings will last around ninety minutes and operate under Chatham House rules.

The discussions and the articles on this website will look to scrutinise the black letter of the law and its implications in the Courts and wider society. They will also look to situate the law in its historical and political context. We hope that by developing an understanding of where the law has come from, and why the law has taken the form it has today, we may begin to form an idea of where we want it to go.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Rape Myths

The London Legal Salon returns at 1930 on the 8th of May 2013 to the Hoop and Grapes Pub on Farringdon Street.  The topic of the discussion is a new paper by Helen Reece of the London School of Economics titled:  ‘Rape Myths:  Is Elite Opinion Right and Public Opinion Wrong?’


Many have argued that reform around Rape law has failed.  Either it has failed to raise the conviction rate,  or worse,  it has failed to instil confidence in victims of rape that the state can prosecute these crimes effectively.  Many attribute the lack in any rise in rape convictions to ‘myths’ around rape.  It is said that the erroneous beliefs of rape complainants and those involved in prosecuting and trying rape cases are to blame for the lack of any increase in people being found guilty. 


In her new paper,  Dr Helen Reece of the London School of Economics argues that the repressiveness of current attitudes towards rape has been largely overstated,  and that such ‘rape myths’ are not to blame for the steady conviction rate.  Are misconceptions about rape leading to miscarriages of justice?  Should we be doing more to ensure convictions?  Or is there another explanation for why more and more people are reporting rape,  whilst roughly the same number year on year are being convicted?


Join the London Legal Salon at the Hoop and Grapes Public House on Farringdon Street to discuss Rape Myths on Wednesday the 8th of May 2013 at 1930.