The Law Of Sexual Offences Act

3880 Words16 Pages
In 2003, the Sexual Offences Act was introduced to remedy the problems in the law of sexual offences. Two important provisions were created. Section 74 introduced a statutory definition of consent, where a person consents “if he agrees by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice”; and section 76 introduced a list of conclusive presumptions on the absence of consent. The provisions were introduced to clarify the law on consent, which prior to the Act was scarce and unclear. However, from their inception the amendments have been criticized for generating further confusion. First, the relationship between s.74 and 76 is ambiguous, whether s.76 is an exhaustive list of deceptions or whether other deceptions fall under s.74 has an impact on the case law, as illustrated in McNally and Assange. Second, the correct interpretation of s.76 is still unclear, the Courts fluctuating between wide and narrow applications. To conclude, this essay will ultimately look at a provision from the old 1956 Act which had it been re-enacted might have clarified the law. The relationship between Section 74 and 76 of the SOA One of the confusions that has arisen from the case law, is whether section 76 is an exhaustive list of deceptions, or whether other deceptions will fall under s.74. Recent case law shows a confusion in the application of the two provisions. In Assange , in the context of an appeal against extradition under a European Arrest Warrant, where the issue was
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