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Delayed Prosecution for Childhood Sexual Abuse$
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Penney Lewis

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199282289

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282289.001.0001

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(p.203) 9 Conclusion
Delayed Prosecution for Childhood Sexual Abuse

Penney Lewis

Oxford University Press

Retrospective assessment of trial fairness may take place at the end of the prosecution or defence case or on appeal. The advantages of retrospective over prospective assessment revolve around the greater knowledge base available to the trial judge later in the trial. The focus of retrospective review, whether by the trial judge at the end of the trial or by an appellate court, should be to ensure that the defendant forced to rely on bare denial has received a fair trial through careful examination of the prejudice caused by delay and the consequent direction. In the absence of any failing in the trial process, and where there is no new evidence to suggest that the conviction(s) may be unsafe, there should be no additional discretion to quash the conviction(s) on the grounds of fairness.

Keywords:   appeal, fair trial, retrospective review, prejudice, delay, judicial warnings, unsafe conviction

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