Jury directions and other influences on jury decision making in rape trials

Dr Kirsty Duncanson (Department of Social Inquiry) and Dr Emma Henderson (La Trobe University Law School)

Juries are regularly blamed for low conviction rates in rape trials. It is assumed that members of the jury believe too strongly and are persuaded too easily by rape myths. Jury directions have been subject to regular reform in many common law jurisdiction, but ostensibly to no substantive benefit.

This project seeks to relocate responsibly away from juries and to look more deeply at rape trials to reveal what else is influencing jury decision making. To conduct this analysis we use theory and methodology from across law, criminology, theatre, English and visual culture studies.

This project is funded through the La Trobe University Law School.


Duncanson, K and Henderson, E (2014) "Narrative, Theatre and the Potential Interruption Value of Jury Directions for Rape Trials" 22(2) Feminist Legal Studies 155.


For further information about this project, please contact:  

Dr Kirsty Duncanson
Department of Social Inquiry
La Trobe University
T: +61 3 9479 2749
E: k.duncanson@latrobe.edu.au