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7.1 Sexual Offences - Introduction

Welcome to the fifth topic in this module guide - Sexual Offences! Sexual Offences encompasses a variety of crimes that include, but are not limited to, rape, assault by penetration, sexual assault, causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent and sexual offences against children.

The majority of sexual offences are now enclosed within the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which was intended to be a large-scale revision of the law of sexual offences, most prominently, with regards to consent. The act also redefined and clarified a few terms as well as introducing new types of sexual offences. Furthermore, the act offers greater protection to individuals from offenders.

Goals for this section:

  • To understand the actus reus and mens rea components of rape, assault by penetration, sexual assault, causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent and sexual offences against children.
  • To recognise the emergence and the development in case law for each of the offences mentioned above.

Objectives for this section:

  • To be able to appreciate the complexities of consent with regards to the actus reus and mens rea of sexual offences, and the possibility that different conclusions could be drawn from the same set of facts. Additionally, the importance that all aspects are considered when addressing questions where consent is key.
  • To be able to delineate between sections 5 - 8 and sections 9 - 15 as it applies to sexual offences against children.
  • To be able to analyse and evaluate the nuances of all the sexual offences, as required in an examination.

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Problem Questions

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Hands on Examples