The Legal Challenges on the way to Judicial Remedy in Rape Cases: The Role of Human Rights and Legal Services Programme of BRAC

Amongst all the cases of violence against women that BRAC’s Human Rights and Legal Services (HRLS) programme deals with, rape has the lowest conviction rate. BRAC’s HRLS programme aims to bring judicial remedy to rape victims however, it faces several legal challenges in the process. Remedy has been used in this study to denote conviction of the accused in the rape case. Using a qualitative method, data was collected from thirteen rape cases of the HRLS programme and used for case studies in this paper. This bunch of legal challenges includes the absence of strong legal argument skills on the part of panel lawyers, lack of legal skills on the part of the programme organizers, prejudices and attitudes of the judges to the criminal doctrine and various procedures, weak professional interaction between the public prosecutor and panel lawyers for prosecuting the case and corruption on the part of the police. A success story of HRLS programme where the accused is convicted of the rape charges provides the main basis for the formulation of the recommendations and demonstrates the necessary combined efforts of the HRLS staff and the state. After highlighting the various legal challenges and the processes that the HRLS programme currently follows, this paper provides recommendations that may help to deal with the challenges more effectively and assist the judicial process to increase rape conviction rates.

Related information

  • Writer Name: Sharin Shajahan Naomi
  • Published Date: Saturday, 04 April 2009
  • Country: Bangladesh