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Victim blaming and alleged innocent victims of false allegations and wrongful convictions

This article evaluates a piece of advice from a barrister to a friend of an alleged innocent victim of a false allegation who was convicted and imprisoned for the alleged offence from the perspective of the Government’s guidance on challenging victim blaming language and behaviours.

As will be shown, the thinking expressed in the barrister's opinion shows no concern whatsoever for whether the alleged innocent victim is, or could be, an innocent victim of a false allegation and a wrongful conviction.

On the contrary, it is delivered entirely from the perspective of the criminal appeals system, placing the responsibility, blame and the forms of harm that are engendered by wrongful convictions firmly and entirely onto the person claiming to be wrongly convicted.

This adds further to research that I have conducted elsewhere that found that lawyers are generally unable to put their clients’ interests above their subservience to a criminal justice system that causes innocent victims to be wrongly convicted yet works to prevent them from being overturned.

Copyright © 2023 by Michael Naughton. Working papers are in draft form. This working paper is distributed for purposes of comment and discussion only. It may not be reproduced without permission of the copyright holders.

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