Local campaigner supports calls for social media ban in rape trials

A local campaigner says a social media ban in rape trials would help protect victims. Abigale Kourtney was speaking in relation to a report into how Northern Ireland’s justice system deals with rape cases.

The new report has recommended sweeping changes to the way rape trials are run in Northern Ireland.

The Cavan native also recently participated in a demonstration in Dublin in protest at how women are treated during rape trials. She said the reaction to the Belfast rape trial online was unfair on the victim.

You can hear the full interview with Abigale here.

The report has recommended sweeping changes to the way rape trials are run in Northern Ireland.

The closure of public galleries and the protection of an accused person’s identity throughout are just some of the 220 recommendations. Other key recommendations include the creation of new laws to tackle inappropriate use of social media during a trial and the pre-recording of a complainant’s cross-examination.

Caroline Counihan from Rape Crisis Network Ireland says she particularly welcomed a recommendation to tackle delays in getting cases to trial: