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89% of people think legal professionals should have mandatory education in consent and rape myths

A barrister’s comments sparked outrage and led to protests last week.

A mural highlighting consent which has been set up next to the Bernard Shaw in Dublin
A mural highlighting consent which has been set up next to the Bernard Shaw in Dublin
Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

A TOTAL OF 89% of people think judges and others in the legal profession should have mandatory education in consent and rape myths.

The issue has come to a head in recent weeks after a defence barrister in a rape trial asked a jury in Cork to take into account that the 17-year-old complainant was wearing a lace thong on the night in question. 

The defendant in the case was found not guilty. 

The barrister’s comments subsequently sparked outrage and led to protests, which made international headlines, as well as Solidarity–People Before Profit TD Ruth Coppinger holding up a thong in the Dáil during Leaders’ Questions last week. 

Coppinger said it was time for “rape myths” to be dispelled, adding that a person’s choice in clothing does not equate to consent. She called for more training among the legal profession in this regard.

Speaking on Tonight with Claire Byrne on Monday, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and rape survivor Leona O’Callaghan both said they disagreed with a person’s choice of underwear being discussed during a rape trial.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

According to a poll for Claire Byrne Live/TheJournal.ie by Amarách Research, 89% of people think judges and others in the legal profession should have education in consent and rape myths.

Of this, 86% were men and 92% were women. 

Just 5% of people don’t think they should be given such education and 6% of people were unsure.

The survey was carried out on Monday 19 November using a panel of over 1,000 adults who own smartphones. 

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With reporting by Órla Ryan

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