Consent: Domestic and Comparative Perspectives, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover


Domestic and Comparative Perspectives, 1st Edition

Edited by Alan Reed, Michael Bohlander, Nicola Wake, Emma Smith


438 pages

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Hardback: 9781472469953
pub: 2016-10-28
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pub: 2016-10-14
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This volume presents a leading contribution to the substantive arena relating to consent in the criminal law. In broad terms, the ambit of legally valid consent in extant law is contestable and opaque, and reveals significant problems in adoption of consistent approaches to doctrinal and theoretical underpinnings of consent. This book seeks to provide a logical template to focus the debate. The overall concept addresses three specific elements within this arena, embracing an overarching synergy between them. This edifice engages in an examination of UK provisions, with specialist contributions on Irish and Scottish law, and in contrasting these provisions against alternative domestic jurisdictions as well as comparative contributions addressing a particularised research grid for consent. The comparative chapters provide a wider background of how other legal systems' treat a variety of specialised issues relating to consent in the context of the criminal law. The debate in relation to consent principles continues for academics, practitioners and within the criminal justice system. Having expert descriptions of the wider issues surrounding the particular discussion and of other legal systems' approaches serves to stimulate and inform that debate. This collection will be a major source of reference for future discussion.


'Autonomy is so vital to personal integrity that protection is paramount, yet what constitutes valid consent and what can be consented to are highly contested. This collection addresses both concerns head on. It provides a sustained, theoretically-informed, comparative analysis of one of the most troublesome areas of criminal law.'

Professor Gavin Dingwall, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

'I very much welcome the publication of this rich study on the multifaceted concept of consent in criminal law. Its extensive comparative analysis provides a broad and extremely useful overview on a fundamental issue which is at the core of many debates not only before domestic courts but also before international jurisdictions.'

Judge Jean-Marc Lavergne, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Phnom Penh

Table of Contents


Notes on Contributors




1 Distinguishing sex from sexual violation: Consent, negotiation and freedom to negotiate

Tanya Palmer

2 Relational Autonomy and Consent

Jonathan Herring

3 The Relationship between Capacity and Consent

Claire De Than and Jesse Elvin

4 Attacks on the Mind and the Legal Limits of the Seduction Industry

Gavin Byrne and John Child

5 Consenting to Personal Injury

William Wilson

6 Assault, Strangulation and Murder – Challenging the Sexual Libido Consent Defence Narrative

Susan Edwards

7 Contributory Negligence and Consent

Verity Adams

8 CAVEAT AMATOR: Transmission of HIV and the Parameters of Consent and Bad Character Evidence

Alan Reed and Emma Smith

9 Deciding to Die and Help with Dying: What Can and Cannot be Done in England and Wales.

Bob Sullivan

10 The ‘Higher’ Age of Consent and the concept of Sexual Exploitation

Alisdair Gillespie and Suzanne Ost

11 Consent: Revisiting the Exemption for Contact Sports

Mark James

12 Finding Free Agreement: The Meaning of Consent in Sexual Offences in Scots Criminal Law

Claire McDiarmid

13 Consent in Irish Law

John Stannard


1 South Africa

Gerhard Kemp

2 Australia

Mirko Bagaric

3 Germany

Kai Ambos and Stefanie Bock

4 Islamic Law

Mohammad Hedeyati-Kakhki

5 Netherlands

Anne Postma

6 New Zealand

Julia Tolmie


Vera Bergelson

8 Turkey

Murat Onök

9 France

Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos and Raphaële Parizot

10 Spain

Mario Maraver Gómez and Manuel Cancio Meliá

11 Sweden

Petter Asp and Magnus Ulväng

About the Editors

Alan Reed is Associate Dean (Research and Innovation) and Professor of Law at Northumbria Law School

Michael Bohlander is the International Co-Investigating Judge at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Dr Nicola Wake is Associate Professor of Law at Northumbria University

Emma Smith is a Lecturer in Law, and has a number of leading outputs in the areas of Criminal Law and Evidence

About the Series

Substantive Issues in Criminal Law

Substantive Issues in Criminal Law

Substantive Issues in Criminal Law presents a series of volumes that systematically address areas of the criminal law that are in need of reform or which belong to the core areas of law where doctrinal abstraction or greater analysis is required. One part of each book is dedicated to an in-depth look at the situation in the UK, with individual chapters analysing points of current interest. A second feature of each volume is a major comparative section of other domestic jurisdictions. These international contributions are written to a uniform research grid provided by the editors in order to ensure a maximum degree of ease of comparison. The key purpose of the series is to produce a major library of reference works to which all actors in the wider criminal justice and policy community in the UK and elsewhere will have recourse for academic, judicial and policy purposes.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General