Thanks to Chris on
The Melon Farmers' Forum
Have people read the new Scottish Law Commission Discussion Paper on Rape & Other Sexual Offences?
It’s refreshingly sensible and free from legislation based on sexual prudery. It addresses things like consent and BDSM from the point of view of sexual autonomy being the most important thing and even for things like bestiality it
defines only as an offence if it causes harm to the animal. It’s quite different in tone than the government's consultation paper on extreme pornography (though this one doesn't actually cover porn).
It is to be found at Discussion Paper No 131 Rape and other Sexual Offences [PDF]. Comments are requested by 1 May 2006
Letter to consultees
Relevant News Release
The press release is as follows:
CONSULTATION BEGINS ON SEXUAL OFFENCE REFORMS
Sexual offences such as rape are on the path to reform as public views are sought on proposals issued for consultation today. The Scottish Law Commission publishes its Discussion Paper on Rape and Other Sexual Offences, marking an
important stage in the first ever systematic review of Scots law on sexual offences.
The Commission was asked by the Scottish Ministers to examine the law on rape and other sexual offences and the evidential requirements for proving these offences. This request followed two widely-reported High Court cases in 2004,
together with concern among the general public, and professionals working in this field, that the law was in confusion.
Launching the consultation period today, Professor Gerry Maher QC, the lead Commissioner on the project, stressed the need for clarity: The law on rape and other sexual offences must be clear. People must be able to know what types
of sexual conduct the law prohibits and what types are legal.
Professor Maher also emphasised that the paper is not aimed only at lawyers: This paper is not concerned with a technical area of the law. Rather it deals with issues which are of concern to the public at
large. Our Discussion Paper, which can be accessed on our website, is part of our public consultation on reforming the law on rape and other sexual offences. We hope that anyone with views on the issues covered in the paper will send us their
Following consultation, the Commission aims to publish a final Report, including draft legislation, next year. The key issues covered in the Discussion Paper are redefining rape to cover male and female victims, as well as a wider
range of sexual acts; enhancing the protection of the vulnerable, including young people, from exploitative sexual activity; and defining in statute the meaning of consent to sex. The paper emphasises the need for the law to apply equally to men and
women, and it asks whether the requirement for corroboration for proof of sexual offences should be retained or removed, and, if it were removed, for which offences.