Different systems, similar outcomes?: Tracking attrition in reported rape cases in eleven countries

Published: 2009

Burman, M., Lovett, J., and Kelly, L. (2009) Scotland Country Report. Different Systems, Similar Outcomes? Tracking Attrition in Reported Rape Cases in 11 European Countries CWASU London Metropolitan University.


This report looks at attrition in Scotland.  Attrition – the process by which the majority of reported rape cases fail to reach trial – has become a critical research and policy issue. In virtually all countries where major studies have been published, substantial increases in reporting have not been matched by rises in prosecutions, resulting in a falling conviction rate. Whilst this pattern has been documented in two previous Daphne projects (Regan & Kelly, 2003), it was not universal across Europe. This report forms part of a wider project funded by the EU Commission which is analysing the similarities and differences in attrition processes across 11 countries with varying judicial systems and socio-legal cultures; it is the first study to do this.