Hughes, JA and Jonas, M (2020) Weighing Ethical Considerations in Proposed Non-Recent Child Sexual Abuse Investigations: A Response to Maslen and Paine’s Oxford CSA Framework. Criminal Justice Ethics. ISSN 1937-5948

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Questions about when it is right for police forces to investigate alleged offences committed in the more or less distant past have become increasingly pressing. Recent widely publicized cases of child sexual abuse (CSA) and exploitation, sometimes involving high profile individuals, have illustrated the ethical, psychological, and forensic complexities of investigating non-recent child sexual abuse. Hannah Maslen and Colin Paine have developed the Oxford CSA Framework to assist police to weigh the various ethical considerations that militate for and against initiating a CSA investigation. While such a tool is to be welcomed, and while there is much that is helpful in Maslen and Paine’s approach, we suggest that the Oxford CSA framework could be strengthened. Our first suggestion is to abandon a proposed distinction between a set of considerations that is said to generate a “presumption” in favor of investigation and other considerations that may supplement or oppose this presumption. Our second suggestion is to review the weightings applied to the considerations within the model, which lack clear justification and create problematic effects. Finally, we suggest that referring the Oxford CSA Framework to a panel with lived and professional experience of CSA could serve important procedural justice goals and enhance the Framework’s recommendations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final accepted manuscript and all relevant information regarding copyrights and more can be found online at;
Uncontrolled Keywords: child sexual abuse, child sexual exploitation, non-recent offences, Oxford CSA Framework, police, police ethics
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory > JC571 Human Rights
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2020 10:34
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2022 01:30

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