corroboration rule

High court judge finds 'no place' for sexual offences corroboration rule in Malawi

Many women and men have long felt uncomfortable with the corroboration requirement attached to trials of sexual offences. This requirement, whether a matter of law or practice, appears increasingly unjustifiable, unconstitutional even. It is inevitably, and almost exclusively, directed against women who are the overwhelming targets of sex crimes. Malawi now appears to have joined the list of jurisdictions where the corroboration rule will be regarded with suspicion and discarded.

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From being standard practice, the requirement that there be additional corroboration in sexual crimes is gradually losing its grip. Several African common law countries have already specifically stopped insisting on this requirement, South Africa and Namibia among them.

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