Different systems, similar outcomes? Tracking attrition in reported rape cases in 11 European countries

October 6, 2009


Attrition, the process by which rape cases fall out of the justice system before reaching trial, has been highlighted as a critical issue in several English-speaking countries with common-law systems, and there is emerging research in some European countries. In virtually all countries where major studies have been published, the number of reported rape offences have increased over the last two decades, yet the number of prosecutions has failed to increase proportionately, resulting in a falling conviction rate.

This study, uniquely, sets out to research attrition both in the European context, which has not been widely addressed, and across countries with varying judicial systems and cultures.

In this, the first in-depth trans-European attrition study, original primary data have been collected in Austria, Belgium, England & Wales, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal, Scotland and Sweden.

The full report can be downloaded below, along with the summary report for England and Wales.

Summary reports for all countries can be found here.