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Rape Consent Law Being Reviewed

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The body in charge of reviewing the law is asking whether someone should be charged with rape for not checking if their partner consented.

The Law Reform Commission's asking for the public's view on the issue, as it looks at a range of reform options.

An issues paper examines a range of options - including whether the accused's belief in consent should be objectively reasonable and/or whether the accused should be required to take "reasonable steps" to confirm that the woman is consenting.

The commission has prepared the paper in response to a request from the Attorney-General.

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Irish law on rape says an accused is only guilty when a sexual act occurred and they knew there was no consent.

Tom O'Malley, senior law lecturer at NUI Galway and a member of Law Reform Commission, explains what sort of change they are 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.

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


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