Colloquium 2013: ‘Rethinking Rape Law Reform’

When: Friday 6th December 2013, 9am – 4 pm.
Where: Storey Hall Conference Centre, 330-334 Swanston Street, RMIT University, Melbourne.
Registrations: $220 ($110 for concession, non-government organisations), web registrations coming soon.


Rape law reform in both Australian and international contexts has been vigorously pursued yet hotly contested. Many scholars, legal professionals and activists alike argue that the impact of rape law reform has been negligible, with little change to reporting, prosecution and conviction rates, and little improvement to procedural justice for both victims and accused persons.

This one-day colloquium interrogates the ongoing project of rape law reform by drawing on critical, feminist and comparative analyses of the lessons learned, current challenges and future prospects for legal and non-legal responses to rape. The program features international and national expert speakers who will promote creative reflections about reform approaches and outcomes in an international context; and provide a conceptual space in which to rethink the ongoing project of rape law reform.

The themes include: (1) recent rape law reform debates and the challenges faced across national and international jurisdictions; (2) theoretically-framed analyses of the past and future ‘success’ of rape law reform; (3) the construction of the sexed female body as the inevitable target of rape (and resulting constructions of victim vulnerability); (4) the popularity/unpopularity of rape research in feminist legal scholarship in recent times; (5) the contested role of law (and the state) as the remedy for injury; and (6) the array of alternative justice responses that depart from the criminal justice system.

This event is organised by the Violence and Discrimination Against Women Research Network (VDAWnet) Australia, with support from RMIT University, the Centre for Innovative Justice (RMIT University) and La Trobe University. 


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