Mail strings sentences together with domestic violence
‘Be more lenient with women than men, judges told’ reads the headline in today’s dead tree Daily Mail. This has been toned down to ‘Judges ordered to show more mercy on women criminals when deciding sentences’ on the website, although the main body of the story remains the same.
The Equal Treatment Bench Book (published in October 2009 by The Judicial Studies Board) quoted in this article has sections including Equality and Justice, Race and Justice, Belief systems, Children and the Courts, Disability, Women and Equality, and Sexual Orientation. The aim of this Bench Book is “to inform, assist and guide, to generate thought and discussion and, ultimately, to enable all judges to deal confidently, sensitively and fairly with all those who appear before them,” according to the Judiciary of England and Wales website. So it’s guidance, not rules. Nobody has been ‘ordered’ or ‘told’ to do anything. Strike one to the Daily Mail for misrepresentation in both headlines.
Delving in to the text of the article reveals that sections from Part 6 of the Bench Book, Women and Equality PDF have been selectively used out of context in order to increase the outrage factor amongst readers.