1st Edition

Intimacy and Responsibility
The Criminalisation of HIV Transmission

ISBN 9781904385707
Published January 31, 2007 by Routledge-Cavendish
256 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

In what circumstances and on what basis, should those who transmit serious diseases to their sexual partners be criminalised? In this new book Matthew Weait uses English case law as the basis of a more general and critical analysis of the response of the criminal courts to those who have been convicted of transmitting HIV during sex.

Examining cases and engaging with the socio-cultural dimensions of HIV/AIDS and sexuality, he provides readers with an important insight into the way in which the criminal courts construct the concepts of harm, risk, causation, blame and responsibility.

Taking into account the socio-cultural issues surrounding HIV/AIDS and their interaction with the law, Weait has written an excellent book for postgraduate and undergraduate law and criminology students studying criminal law theory, the trial process, offences against the person, and the politics of criminalisation.  The book will also be of interest to health professionals working in the field of HIV/AIDS genito-urinary medicine who want to understand the issues that may face their clients and patients.

Table of Contents

Introduction.  Overview of the English Case Law.  The International and Historical Context.  HIV/AIDS and its Meanings.  R v Konzani: A Case Study.  Harm.  Causation.  Fault.  Consent.  Conclusion

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Matthew Weait is Senior Lecturer in Law and Legal Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London.  His research interests centre on the impact of law on people living with HIV and AIDS.  He has advised a wide range of HIV/AIDS organisations both in the UK and abroad, including the WHO and UNAIDS.


"There are few authors with Weait’s depth and breadth of scholarship who can pull such disparate theoretical strands together in such a skilful and readable way. This is an excellent and important synthesis of the current place of HIV in UK society, and our collective responses to risk." - HIV Medicine, July 2008

"This is a fascinating book, which extends effortlessly across disciplinary boundaries to argue a controversial and, at first sight, very difficult case." - Mark Cowling, British Journal of Criminology, July 2008

"The author has already established himself as one of the world's leading authorities on this issue and this book is a magnificent illustration of why his work in this field is so highly regarded...In this tour de force he presents the most attractive and powerful case against the criminalisation of the trasmission of HIV available. Read this book and you will never see criminal law in quite the same way again." - Jonathan Herring, The Howard Law Journal, Vol 48. No 5, December 2009

''Intimacy and Responsibility makes a valuable contribution to sociolegal scholarship in general but will be of particular interest to those working on public health, the body, gender and sexuality. Weait is at his best when setting up his arguments and presenting evidence. ''-Joe Rollins, Law and Politics Book Review, July 2008