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Future justice for sexual assault: Future Justice Award presentation

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Distinguished Professor John Braithwaite discusses rape law reform while receiving his 2012 Future Justice Award on 12 December 2012.Rape law reform has not made a large contribution to reducing the incidence of rape. Two of many reasons are that there is a sexual assault enforcement swamping problem and a charging down problem that also leaves victims dissatisfied. Nevertheless, it is argued that feminist politics in our lifetimes has made a large contribution to protecting future generations from rape by rendering rape more shameful. A second way it is possible to make a large contribution is to transform one institution at a time that has allowed sexual assault to fester. So there is promise in the Gillard government's approach of institutionally focussed enquiries on Defence, the churches, hopefully others. We need institutions that constitute the unthinkableness of sexual assault. The first institution considered as a target for reform is UN Peacekeeping, using rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a case study. The second institution is militaries. The third is schools. The fourth is large business organizations. The fifth is churches. A long march for justice through the institutions is proposed. Clifford Shearing's theories of justice as a better future and bubbles of institutional security will inform the analysis. The Future Justice Prize is awarded to Australian individuals or organisations for leadership and initiative in the advancement of future justice, which is concerned with what those living today leave behind, and is awarded for research, publications, projects or programs in areas such as Human Rights,Indigenous, Health, Environment, Population & Intergenerational Debt. Professor John Braithwaite is an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow and Founder of the RegulatoryInstitutions Network (RegNet). He has been active in social movement politics for 40 years in Australia and internationally. He is now undertaking a 20-year comparative project called 'Peacebuilding Compared'.Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet) is an internationally acclaimed interdisciplinary program that serves as the central node for a network of centres, projects, institutions, practitioners and academics involved in exploring and understanding critical domains of regulation.RegNet's mission is research at the highest international standards on regulation that also makes local contributions to good governance.

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