Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill

On Wednesday I wrote an entry about the new wider definition of rape that has been introduced by the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill. In that post I said that I would blog on the Bill in more detail once I had time to digest it. For a more learned and concise explanation of the main points to the Bill then pop over to Scots Law News.

The bill came out of a report by the Scottish Law Commission on rape and other sexual offences which was commissioned partly due to the appallingly low number of convictions in rape cases. Some proposals have been left out of the bill (such as the decriminalisation of consensual sex between 13, 14 and 15 year olds).

In relation to rape the bill sets out to change the common law crime of rape into something much broader. The bill also defines what would amount to consent.

The bill doesn’t just deal with the creation of a statutory offence of rape. It also deals with other issues such as the spiking of drinks for the purposes of sexual activity as well as sexual exposure and sexually coercive behaviour such as text messages and E-mails of a sexually offensive nature.

The Scottish Government has also chosen to reject the recommendation of the Scottish Law Commission to abolish consensual sexual violence between adults.

Some disappointment with the Bill, but largely a good piece of law that is long overdue and will help develop Scots Law in relation to sex crimes out of the middle ages!

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