25 Oct 2012

Solomons mentality around rape must change: High Court judge

12:22 pm on 25 October 2012

A Solomon Islands High Court judge says there is a mindset around rape that must be broken down.

Justice Stephen Pallaras says under the criminal code the penalty for rape is life imprisonment and parliament has also indicated clearly to the court that the offence is one of the most serious in the criminal calendar.

He says one of the proper aims of a sentencing process is to discourage and deter others from committing the same offence, something that's not working for rape in Solomon Islands.

Justice Pallaras says he has increased the base level for rape sentences but not everyone shares his view that the victim is blameless.

"People who think along those terms may say that this is going too far in favour of the victim in the rape case without sufficient consideration that a person is being sentenced to a significant length of imprisonment and that person's rights may well be being overlooked."

Justice Stephen Pallaras say a war is being waged on women and children.