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Rape and Sexual Offences:        Appendix D - Rape Prosecutions Advice/Review Checklist


For pre-charge advice/decision making, file review, case preparation & case

Prosecution Team working together to build better cases

RAPE SPECIALIST (File allocation)

FLAGGING ON CMS (rape, DV, VIW, identifiable victim, media interest)


EVIDENCE (quality, strengths and weaknesses, how can we case build?)

  • Visually Recorded Interview (confirm viewed/comment on quality, admissibility, transcribing and editing)
  • Consent/Capacity issues
  • Evidential/ Conclusive presumptions
  • Medical evidence (forensic physician should attend conference and give live evidence unless there are particular/ considered reasons)
  • DNA and other scientific evidence (consult with forensic scientist)
  • Fingerprints
  • CCTV
  • Phone analysis / records / texts / images / cell site / computer records
  • Birth certificates
  • s.41 YJCEA 1999 applications (required to be in writing)
  • Bad character of the accused (previous convictions and complaints including foreign)
  • Hearsay
  • Consideration of any defence put forward
  • Possible collusion between witnesses
  • Potential abuse of process


THRESHOLD TEST / FULL CODE TEST (evidential and public interest)


  • Old / new legislation
  • Which behaviour is covered by which charge
  • Adequate sentencing powers
  • Acceptability of pleas (taking account of views expressed by the victim)
  • DPP consent


  • MG6C, D, and E
  • Previous complaints by the victim
  • Witnesses previous convictions
  • Tendered witnesses
  • Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claims

THIRD PARTY MATERIAL (consents or court order required for disclosure)

  • Social Services, Educational, Medical, Therapy, Counselling, Adult and Child Disability Services
  • Care proceedings / family / disciplinary proceedings
  • SARC records
  • ISVA records


  • Special measures for vulnerable / intimidated witnesses (including intermediaries)
  • Early special measures meeting
  • Meeting with witness
  • Other measures (breaks, medication, secure entrance)
  • Witness summons / reluctant witness hearing


  • Hearsay
  • Bad Character
  • Special Measures

DECISION TO NFA OR TO PROCEED ON LESSER CHARGE (Second rape specialist to be consulted and their opinion recorded)

DCV (is a letter / meeting required?)


  • Plea and Sentencing document (in accordance with AGs guidelines)
  • Dangerousness provisions, extended sentences, life / indeterminate sentences
  • Victim personal statement

ANCILLARY ORDERS (SOPO, disqualification)

TRIAL ADVOCATE (accredited counsel, HCA rape specialist advocate)


  • Analysis of the evidence
  • Confirm visually recorded interview viewed, comment on quality, admissibility, transcribing and editing
  • Which behaviour is covered by which charge
  • Acceptability of pleas (taking account of views expressed by the victim)
  • Reminder to counsel to introduce themselves and provide explanations/ updates to witnesses
  • Reminder that offensive and irrelevant cross-examination should be challenged
  • Reminder to tackle inappropriate cross-examination about previous sexual history
  • Reminder to consider sentencing and ancillary orders including SOPOs and compensation
  • Information on third party material with instructions that disclosure should only be made in accordance with the statutory tests
  • Reminder to consider seeking an adverse inference where S. 11 CPIA allows
  • Request a written report on any case that results in an acquittal

CONFERENCE WITH COUNSEL (to include OIC and forensic physician)

PROACTIVE CASE MANAGEMENT (E.g. Action dates, pre-trial checks and trial readiness)


N.B. This list highlights issues commonly found in rape cases but may not be exhaustive. Prosecutors must consider all issues relevant to the case.

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