A MALE judge who dismissed a woman’s rape claim because she didn’t fight back against her attacker is facing calls to have his cases reviewed.
More than 130 lawyers and women’s rights groups have signed a letter calling for a review into Judge Robins Tolson’s active cases.
The letter, which was signed by Rape Crisis and Women’s Aid among other charities, attacked family court judges for their “outdated views” and said they should be trained on “the meaning of consent.”
Their lack of knowledge, says the letter, “leave children and women at risk of serious harm”.
Judge Tolson was slammed last year for his handling of a case involving a 29-year-old father, with a long record of abuse against previous domestic partners, asking for contact with his son, who was in the care of his former partner.
Judge Tolson had been asked to make a ruling regarding access arrangement for the couple’s four-year-old child after they had separated more than three years ago.
Family court litigation began after the man asked to be allowed to spend time with his son but the mother objected, accusing him of domestic violence and sexual assault including rape.
But Judge Tolson concluded that as the woman had taken “no physical steps” to stop a man from raping her it “did not constitute rape”.
The woman said the judge’s approach led to her losing custody of her son, but she has since had her appeal upheld by High Court judge Ms Justice Russell.
The ruling was immediately slammed by woman and shadow policing minister Louise Haigh, who said that Judge Tolson was “still overseeing cases around domestic abuse and rape”.
She called for Judge Tolson to “immediately recuse himself from all cases involving domestic abuse.”
High Court Judge Ms Justice Russell, who overturned the ruling, also labelled his ruling “flawed” and criticised him for expressing a view that a “complainant must and should physically resist penetration in order to establish a lack of consent.”
She said he had made “multiple errors of law” and that the judgment was “so flawed as to require a retrial.”
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