Thanks to Chris on
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].
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
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 response.
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