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Public Views Sought On Reform Of Rape Consent Law


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The Law Reform Commission is asking whether someone should be acquitted of rape if they honestly thought the person was consenting.

The body which reviews our laws is asking if that should be the case even if that belief is unreasonable.

The commission has prepared the paper after a request from the Attorney-General.

The current law states that an honest, though unreasonable, mistaken belief that the woman was consenting is a defence to rape - but the man's belief must be "genuine" and "not obviously false".

Tom O'Malley from the commission explains what sort of change they're looking at.

"This issues paper is dealing with just one aspect of the law of rape - that is the question of whether a person should be entitled to be acquitted of rape if it is found that he honestly believed that the complainant was consenting, even though his belief might have been unreasonable in the circumstances".

The issues paper is to be made available on the commission's website.

People are being asked to submit their feedback via e-mail to ag47@lawreform.ie before the close of business on October 26th.


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