A more recent version of these Sexual Offences notes – written by Oxford students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Criminal Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Sexual Offences Governed by Sexual Offences Act 2003. Old law was much criticised:Discriminatory e.g. marital exemption to rape only abolished in 1991. age of consent for homosexuals (illegal until 1967), women better covered Narrowness/breadth of offences. Non-consensual oral sex was not classified as rape. Law relating to consent it unclear. Are crimes against children strict liability offences? Unclear.
Defined in s.74 - to agree by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice. o So children cannot consent (relevant offences in s.5 and ss.15-19). Nor can the mentally disabled. There are special offences that can be charged for sex with the mentally disabled (ss.30-37), which Baroness Hale said might be easier to charge, but one of the ss.1-4 offences can easily be charged also.
Conclusive presumptions of consent - s.76:
Identifies situations in which a lack of consent if conclusively presumed i.e. if the prosecution can show one of them to be the case, a lack of consent would be accepted plainly: o Where D intentionally deceived V as to the nature or purpose of the act. o D intentionally induced V to consent by impersonating a person personally known to V.
Note that a jury, on failing to satisfy this, can still find no consent based on s.74. The deception cases:
In these cases there must be a deception by D. There will be no conclusive presumption where V was merely mistaken.
The deception must be intentional.
The deception must relate to nature or purpose of the act: o Williams - a singing teacher had sex with his pupil in what he told her were 'breathing exercises'. The act was different in nature to that which V consented to. o Lesser deceptions generally will not vitiate consent e.g. Linekar (man refused to pay prostitute) and Papadimitropolous (sex before marriage). Miles is critical of the fact that such deceptions go unpunished. o In Tabassum D pretended to be carrying out medical research inspecting breasts. The court wanted to convict him so said that he had deceived the women as to the 'quality of the act' i.e. unqualified medic v qualified.
There has been a great deal of litigation in establishing lack of consent: o R v EB - D was HIV+ and had not disclosed this to V. The prosecution argued that this non-disclosure changed the nature of the act and conclusively
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