Purposes, Roles and Beliefs in the Hostile Questioning of Vulnerable Witnesses

Ester S M Leung*, John Gibbons

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    In the Hong Kong legal system, as in many Common Law systems, the crime of ‘rape’ has been abolished and replaced with various categories of ‘sexual assault’. Where a person below the age of sixteen is the complainant it is called ‘sexual assault on a minor’. Until assault is proved, the legal term for the person who does the sexual assault is ‘the accused’ and the person who is assaulted is ‘the complainant’. After the accused is convicted, the respective terms become ‘assailant’ and ‘victim’. In the cases we discuss today the male accused were found guilty, so we will occasionally use the term ‘victim’when discussing this participant, although we will mainly use the neutral ‘witness’ when it is being referred to in the context of the trial itself. In sexual assault cases in Hong Kong, the complainant must prove beyond reasonable doubt that s/he did not consent, even if s/he is a minor.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Language of Sexual Crime
    EditorsJanet Cotterill
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Electronic)9780230592780
    ISBN (Print)9780230001701, 9781349280063
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2007

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Arts and Humanities(all)
    • Psychology(all)
    • Social Sciences(all)

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Sexual Assault
    • Sexual Intercourse
    • Sexual Assault Case
    • Defence Counsel
    • Verbal Projection


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