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The sexual offences act 2003: (1) Rape, Sexual Assaults and the Problems of Consent

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-08, 05:51 authored by Jennifer Temkin, Andrew Ashworth
This, the first article in a four part series, evaluates the scope and practical implications of offences involving non consensual sexual activity contained in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 ss.1-4 dealing with rape, assault by penetration, sexual assault and causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent. Notes the Government's objectives underlying the Act. Examines: (1) the different elements of the four offences; (2) the meaning of "sexual"; (3) the issue of consent in the context of the Home Office report, Setting the Boundaries: Reforming the Law on Sex Offences of 2000, the White Paper 0f 2002, Protecting the Public, and the Sexual Offences Bill 2003, the final provisions themselves as contained in ss.74-76 and criticisms of them; (4) the significant change to the mens rea of rape and the sexual assault offences with the introduction of the "absence of reasonable belief in consent" test; (5) the placing of an evidential burden of proof on the defence; and (6) consent and the treatment of deception and threats.


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Criminal Law Review



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