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Encyclopedia > Consent (criminal)
Criminal law in English law
Part of the common law series
Classes of crimes
Summary  · Indictable
Hybrid offence  · Regulatory offences
Lesser included offence
Elements of crimes
Actus reus  · Causation
Mens rea  · Intention (general)
Intention in English law  · Recklessness
Criminal negligence  · Corporate liability
Vicarious liability  · Strict liability
Omission  · Concurrence
Ignorantia juris non excusat
Inchoate offences
Incitement  · Conspiracy
Accessory  · Attempt
Common purpose
Consent  · Diminished responsibility
M'Naghten Rules  · Necessity
Crimes against the person
Common assault  · Battery
Actual bodily harm  · Grievous bodily harm
Offences Against The Person Act 1861
Murder  · Manslaughter
Corporate manslaughter  · Harassment
Public order and crimes against property
Criminal Damage Act 1971
Malicious Damage Act 1861
Public nuisance
Crimes of dishonesty
Theft Act 1968  · Theft  · Dishonesty
Robbery  · Burglary  · TWOC
Deception  · Deception offences
Blackmail  · Handling
Theft Act 1978  · Forgery
Computer crime
Sexual crimes
Rape  · Kidnapping
Crimes against justice
Bribery  · Perjury
Obstruction of justice
See also Criminal Procedure
Criminal Defences
Other areas of the common law
Contract law  · Tort law  · Property law
Wills and trusts  · Evidence
Portals: Law  · Criminal justice

In the criminal law, consent may be an excuse and prevent the defendant from incurring liability for what was done. For a more general discussion, see consensual crime. Image File history File links Scale_of_justice. ... English law is a formal term of art that describes the law for the time being in force in England and Wales. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... In many common law jurisdictions (e. ... A hybrid offence or dual offence are the special offences in Canadian criminal law where the prosecution may choose whether to proceed with a summary offence or an indictment. ... Regulatory offences are a class of crime in which the standard for proving culpability has been lowered so as not to require any fault elements. ... A lesser included offense, in criminal law, is a crime for which all of the elements necessary to impose liability are also elements found in a more serious crime. ... Actus reus is the action (or inaction, in the case of criminal negligence and similar crimes which are sometimes called acts of omission) which, in combination with the mens rea (guilty mind), produces criminal liability in common law based criminal law jurisdictions such as the United States, United Kingdom. ... In law, causation is the name given to the process of testing whether defendants should be fixed with liability for the outcome to their acts and omissions that injure or cause loss to others. ... The mens rea is the Latin term for guilty mind used in the criminal law. ... In the criminal law, intention is one of the three general classes of mens rea necessary to constitute a conventional as opposed to strict liability crime. ... In English criminal law, intention is one of the types of mens rea (Latin for guilty mind) that, when accompanied by an actus reus (Latin for guilty act) constitutes a crime. ... In the criminal law, recklessness (sometimes also termed willful blindness which may have a different meaning in the United States) is one of the three possible classes of mental state constituting mens rea (the Latin for guilty mind). To commit an offence of ordinary as opposed to strict liability, the... Criminal negligence, in the realm of criminal common law, is a legal term of art for a state of mind which is careless, inattentive, neglectful, willfully blind, or reckless; it is the mens rea part of a crime which, if occurring simultaneously with the actus reus, gives rise to criminal... In the criminal law, corporate liability determines the extent to which a corporation as a fictitious person can be liable for the acts and omissions of the natural persons it employs. ... The legal principle of vicarious liability applies to hold one person liable for the actions of another when engaged in some form of joint or collective activity. ... In criminal law, strict liability is liability where mens rea (Latin for guilty mind) does not have to be proved in relation to one or more elements comprising the actus reus (Latin for guilty act) although intention, recklessness or knowledge may be required in relation to other elements of the... In the criminal law, an omission or failure to act will constitute an actus reus (Latin for guilty act) and give rise to liability only when the law imposes a duty to act and the defendant is in breach of that duty. ... For other uses, see concurrency. ... It has been suggested that presumed knowledge of the law be merged into this article or section. ... An inchoate offence is a crime. ... In English criminal law, incitement is an anticipatory common law offence and is the act of persuading, encouraging, instigating, pressuring, or threatening so as to cause another to commit a crime. ... In the criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more natural persons to break the law at some time in the future, and, in some cases, with at least one overt act in furtherance of that agreement. ... An accessory is a person who assists in or conceals a crime, but does not actually participate in the commission of the crime. ... The crime of attempt occurs when a person does an act amounting to more than mere preparation for a criminal offense, with specific intent to commit a crime, if that act tends but fails to effect the commission of the offense intended. ... In criminal law, the doctrine of common purpose, common design or joint enterprise refers to the situation where two or more people embark on a project with a common purpose that results in the commission of a crime. ... For the law in other criminal jurisdictions, see diminished responsibility. ... For a general discussion of the principles, see duress In English law, duress is a defence which allows a limited excuse in favour of those who commit crimes because they are forced or compelled to do so against their will by the threats of another. ... The MNaghten Rules are used to establish insanity as an excuse to potential criminal liability, but the definitional criteria establish insanity in the legal and not the psychological sense. ... For the discussion on general principles and policy, see necessity In English law, the defence of necessity recognises that there may be situations of such an overwhelming urgency, that a person must be allowed to respond by breaking the law. ... For an description of the general principles, see provocation (legal). ... In English criminal law, the defence of self-defence provides for the right of people to act in a manner that would be otherwise unlawful in order to preserve the physical integrity of themselves or others or to prevent any crime. ... In criminal law, a common assault is a crime when the defendant either puts another in fear of injury or actually commits a battery. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Actual Bodily Harm (often abbreviated to ABH) is a type of criminal assault defined under English law. ... Grievous bodily harm or GBH is a phrase used in English criminal law which was introduced in ss18 and 20 Offences Against The Person Act 1861. ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wikisource. ... Corporate manslaughter is a term in English law for an act of homicide committed by a company. ... Harassment refers to a wide spectrum of offensive behavior. ... Under English law, the Criminal Damage Act 1971 is the main statute covering damage to property. ... The Malicious Damage Act of 1861 is a law now mostly concerned with damage to property in the transport sector of society. ... Nuisance is a common law tort. ... The Theft Act 1968 (1968 c. ... Everyday instance of theft: the bike which fits on this wheel has disappeared. ... Dishonesty is a term which in common usage may be defined as the act of being dishonest; to act without honesty; a lack of probity, to cheat, lying or being deliberately deceptive; lacking in integrity; to be knavish, perfidious, corrupt or treacherous; charlatanism or quackery. ... TWOC is an acronym standing for Taken Without Owners Consent. ... For the purposes of English law, deception is defined in s15(4) Theft Act 1968 and applies to the deception offences in the Theft Act 1968, and to the Theft Act 1978 and the Theft (Amendment) Act 1996. ... In English law, the main deception offences are defined in the Theft Act 1968 (TA68), the Theft Act 1978 and the Theft (Amendment) Act 1996. ... For other uses, see Blackmail (disambiguation). ... A cars handling is a description of the way the car performs, particularly during cornering. ... The Theft Act 1978 supplemented the earlier deception offences in English law contained in sections 15 and 16 of the Theft Act 1968 by reforming some aspects of those offences and adding new provisions. ... Forgery is the process of making or adapting objects or documents (see false document), with the intention to deceive. ... Computer Crime, Cybercrime, E-Crime, Hi-Tech Crime or Electronic Crime generally refers to criminal activity where a computer or network is the tool, target, or place of a crime. ... Bribery is a crime implying a sum or gift given alters the behaviour of the person in ways not consistent with the duties of that person. ... Perjury is the act of lying or making verifiably false statements on a material matter under oath or affirmation in a court of law or in any of various sworn statements in writing. ... Modern Obstruction of Justice, in a common law state, refers to the crime of offering interference of any sort to the work of police, investigators, regulatory agencies, prosecutors, or other (usually government) officials. ... Criminal procedure refers to the legal process for adjudicating claims that someone has violated the criminal law. ... A contract is any promise or set of promises made by one party to another for the breach of which the law provides a remedy. ... In the common law, a tort is a civil wrong for which the law provides a remedy. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... In the common law, a will or testament is a document by which a person (the testator) regulates the rights of others over his property or family after death. ... The law of trusts and estates is generally considered the body of law which governs the management of personal affairs and the disposition of property of an individual in anticipation and the event of such persons incapacity or death, also known as the law of successions in civil law. ... The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e. ... Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of statutory and common law that deals with crime and the legal punishment of criminal offenses. ... In jurisprudence, an excuse or justification is a form of immunity which must be distinguished from an exculpation. ... In the most general sense, a liability is anything that is a hindrance, or puts individuals at a disadvantage. ... It has been suggested that Victimless crime be merged into this article or section. ...



A defence against criminal liability may arise when a defendant can argue that, because of consent, there was no crime (e.g., arguing that permission was given to use an automobile, so it was not theft or TWOC). But public policy requires courts to lay down limits on the extent to which citizens are allowed to consent or are to be bound by apparent consent given. Everyday instance of theft: the bike which fits on this wheel has disappeared. ... TWOC is an acronym standing for Taken Without Owners Consent. ... Public policy or ordre public is the body of fundamental principles that underpin the operation of legal systems in each state. ... A trial at the Old Bailey in London as drawn by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin for Ackermanns Microcosm of London (1808-11). ... The word citizen may refer to: A person with a citizenship Citizen Watch Co. ...

  • As an application of parens patriae, for example, minors cannot consent to having sexual intercourse under a specified age even though the particular instance of statutory rape might be a "victimless" offense. In the case of adults, there are similar limits imposed on their capacity where the state deems the issue to be of sufficient significance. Thus, for example, an individual domiciled in a common law state cannot give consent and create a valid second marriage. The second ceremony will do no more than expose the prospective spouse to a charge of bigamy. Similarly, no consent can be given for an incestuous relationship nor for relationships that expose one of the parties to excessive violence (e.g. most states have a rule that an abusive husband can be prosecuted even if the wife does not co-operate and give evidence to rebut the husband's defense that the wife consented). In English law, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 removes the element of consent from the actus reus of many offences, so that only the act itself and the age or other constraints need to be proved, including:
children under 16 years generally, and under 18 years if having sexual relations with persons in a position of trust or with family members over 18 years; and
persons with a mental disorder that impedes choice who are induced, threatened or deceived, or who have sexual relations with care workers.
  • While it may be argued by strict libertarians that a state has no general duty to protect the foolish from the effects of mistakes they have made, there is an underlying policy need to limit the ability of the strong to prey on the weak. Hence, most states have laws which criminalize misrepresentations, deceptions and fraud. These are situations in which a victim may have given apparent consent to parting with ownership or possession of money and/or goods or generally suffering a loss, but this consent is treated as vitiated by the dishonesty of the person making the untrue representations. Thus, while the criminal law is not generally a means of escaping civil obligations, the criminal courts may be able to offer some assistance to the gullible by returning their property or making compensation orders.

Parens patriae is Latin for parent of the fatherland or parent of the homeland. ... In law, a person who is not yet a legal adult is known as a minor (known in some places as an infant or juvenile). ... It has been suggested that Duration of sexual intercourse be merged into this article or section. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... A young woman who is 18 years old. ... The capacity of both natural and artificial persons determines whether they may make binding amendments to their rights, duties and obligations, such as getting married or merging, entering into contracts, making gifts, or writing a valid will. ... For the purposes of Public International Law and Private International Law, a state is a defined group of people, living within defined territorial boundaries and subject, more or less, to an autonomous legal system exercising jurisdiction through properly constituted courts. ... In Conflict of Laws, domicile (termed domicil in the U.S.) is the basis of the choice of law rule operating in the characterisation framework to define a persons status, capacity and rights. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... In Conflict of Laws, the issue of marriage has assumed increasing public policy significance in a world of increasing multi-ethnic, multi-cultural community existence. ... Marriage is a relationship that plays a key role in the definition of many families. ... Polygamy, literally many marriages in ancient Greek, is a marital practice in which a person has more than one spouse simultaneously (as opposed to monogamy where each person has a maximum of one spouse at any one time). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not include all significant viewpoints. ... Look up wife in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Actus reus is the action (or inaction, in the case of criminal negligence and similar crimes which are sometimes called acts of omission) which, in combination with the mens rea (guilty mind), produces criminal liability in common law based criminal law jurisdictions such as the United States, United Kingdom. ... In English-speaking countries, libertarianism usually refers to a political philosophy maintaining that every person is the absolute owner of their own life and should be free to do whatever they wish with their person or property, as long as they respect the liberty of others. ... In contract law, a misrepresentation is a false statement of fact made by one party to another party and has the effect of inducing that party into the contract. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...

Consent as a defence to non-sexual assaults

The problem has always been to decide at what level the victim's consent becomes ineffective. Historically, the defence was denied when the injuries caused amounted to a maim (per Hawkins Pleas of the Crown (8th ed.) 1824). Now Lord Mustill in R v Brown (1993) 2 AER at p103 has set the level just below actual bodily harm. Thus, where actual bodily harm (or worse) is either caused or intended, consent cannot be a defence. This follows on from R v Donovan (1934) AER 207 in which Swift J. stated the general rule that: Actual Bodily Harm (often abbreviated to ABH) is a type of criminal assault defined under English law. ...

No person can license another to commit a crime, if (the jury) were satisfied that the blows struck ... were likely or intended to do bodily harm ... they ought to convict ... only if they were not so satisfied (was it) necessary to consider the further question whether the prosecution had negatived consent.

Consent to sexual assaults

For sado-masochism, R v Boyea (1992) 156 JPR 505 was another application of the ratio decidendi in Donovan that even if she had actually consented to injury by allowing the defendant to put his hand into her vagina and twist it, causing internal and external injuries to her vagina and bruising on her pubis, the woman's consent (if any) would have been irrelevant. The court took judicial notice of the change in social attitudes to sexual matters but, "the extent of the violence inflicted… went far beyond the risk of minor injury to which, if she did consent, her consent would have been a defence". In R v Brown (1993) 2 All ER 75 the House of Lords rejected the defense on public policy grounds (see below). This is an application of the general rule that, once an actus reus with an appropriate mens rea has been established, no defense can be admitted but the evidence may be admitted to mitigate the sentence. This decision was confirmed in the ECHR in Laskey v United Kingdom (1997) 24 EHRR 39 on the basis that although the prosecution might have constituted an interference with the private lives of those involved, it was justified for the protection of public health. In R v Emmett (unreported, 18 June 1999), as part of their consensual sexual activity, the woman allowed her partner to cover her head with a plastic bag, tying it tightly at the neck. On a different occasion, she agreed that he could pour fuel from a lighter onto her breasts and set fire to the fuel. On the first occasion, she was at risk of death, and lost consciousness. On the second, she suffered burns, which became infected. The court applied Brown and ruled that the woman's consent to these events did not provide a defence for her partner. The general rule, therefore, is that violence involving the deliberate and intentional infliction of bodily harm is and remains unlawful notwithstanding that its purpose is the sexual gratification of one or both participants. Notwithstanding their sexual overtones, these cases are considered to be violent crimes and it is not an excuse that one partner consents. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Judicial Notice is a rule of evidence that allows a fact to be introduced into evidence if the truth of that fact is so notorious or well known that it is cannot be refuted. ... This article is about the British House of Lords. ... The mens rea is the Latin term for guilty mind used in the criminal law. ... The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e. ... In law, a sentence forms the final act of a judge-ruled process, and also the symbolic principal act connected to his function. ... The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, also known as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), was adopted under the auspices of the Council of Europe[1] in 1950 to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. ... In jurisprudence, an excuse or justification is a form of immunity which must be distinguished from an exculpation. ...

Consent obtained by deception

In R v Clarence (1888) 22 QBD 23, at a time when the defendant knew that he was suffering from a venereal disease, he had sexual intercourse and communicated the disease to his wife. Had she been aware, she would not have given her consent. The defendant was convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm under s20 Offences Against The Person Act 1861 (OAP). On appeal the conviction was quashed. Mr Justice Willis said: Grievous bodily harm or GBH is a phrase used in English criminal law which was introduced in ss18 and 20 Offences Against The Person Act 1861. ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wikisource. ...

...that consent obtained by fraud is no consent at all is not true as a general proposition either in fact or in law.

Mr Justice Stephens had said (at p44):

...the only sorts of fraud which so far destroy the effect of a woman's consent as to convert a connection consented to in fact into a rape are frauds as to the nature of the act itself, or as to the identity of the person who does the act. Consent in such cases does not exist at all because the act consented to is not the act done.

Until recently, the case has never been challenged, but its current status was complicated by the then general assumptions that "infliction" required some act of violence, and that non-physical injuries could not be inflicted and so were outside the scope of the OAP. Now the ruling in R v Chan-Fook (1994) 1 WLR. 689 which held that psychiatric injury could be ABH, has been confirmed by the House of Lords in R v Burstow, R v Ireland (1998) 1 CAR 177. These cases overrule the implict ratio decidendi of Clarence that non-physical injuries can be injuries within the scope of the OAP and without the need to prove a physical application of violence, Lord Steyn describing Clarence as a "troublesome authority", and, in the specific context of the meaning of "inflict" in s20, said expressly that Clarence "no longer assists". This article is about the British House of Lords. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

This left the issue of fraud. In R v Linekar (1995) QB 250, a prostitute stated the fact that she would not have consented to sexual intercourse if she had known that her client was not intending to pay, but there was no fraud-induced consent as to the nature of the activity, nor was the identity of the client relevant. In R v Richardson (1998) 2 Cr. App. R. 200, the patient believed that she was receiving dental treatment which otherwise would have given rise to an assault occasioning actual bodily harm, from a dentist who had in fact been struck off the register. The Court held that the identity of the defendant was not a feature which, in that case, precluded the giving of consent by the patient. In R v Navid Tabassum (May, 2000)[1] the three complainant women agreed to the appellant showing them how to examine their own breasts. That involved the appellant, himself, feeling the breasts of two of the women and using a stethoscope beneath the bra of the third woman. Each of the three women said that they had only consented because they thought the appellant had either medical qualifications or relevant training. He had neither. There was no evidence of any sexual motive. He was convicted on the basis that the complainants had only consented to acts medical in nature and not to indecent behaviour, that is, there was consent to the nature of the act but not its quality. In R v Cort (2003) 3 WLR 1300, a case of kidnapping, the complainants had consented to taking a ride in a car, but not to being kidnapped. They wanted transport, not kidnapping. Kidnapping may be established by carrying away by fraud. "It is difficult to see how one could ever consent to that once fraud was indeed established. The 'nature' of the act here is therefore taking the complainant away by fraud. The complainant did not consent to that event. All that she consented to was a ride in the car, which in itself is irrelevant to the offence and a different thing from that with which Mr Cort is charged. Actual Bodily Harm (often abbreviated to ABH) is a type of criminal assault defined under English law. ...

Sexual transmission of disease

In 1998, the Home Office issued a consultation paper entitled Violence: Reforming the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 rejecting the Law Commission's recommendation that there should be offences for the intentional or reckless transmission of disease. The Government "[was] particularly concerned that the law should not seem to discriminate against those who are HIV positive, have AIDS or viral Hepatitis or who carry any kind of disease".

It did, however, accept that society should have criminal sanctions for use against "evil acts", and that this might include people who transmitted diseases causing serious illness to others with intent to do them such harm, adding that "this aims to strike a sensible balance between allowing very serious intentional acts to be punished while not rendering individuals liable for prosecution of unintentional or reckless acts or for the transmission of minor disease" (see paras 3.13-318)

In 2000, the government repeated that view in a consultation relating to the law on manslaughter, "The Government remains wholly committed to this approach."

This has since been considered in R. v Dica, which deals with the transmission of HIV, holding that it was not necessary to prove that the transmission had involved an assault for the "inflicting" of the disease. In many countries, the intentional or reckless infection of a person with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is considered to be illegal. ...

The judgment rejects the rule in Clarence as tainted by the then presumption of a wife's marital consent to sexual intercourse, although Clarence was still being applied after the criminalisation of rape within marriage. The more modern authorities involving the transmission of psychological conditions and in other sexual matters, reject the notion that consent can be a defence to anything more than a trivial injury.

Yet this is not without its difficulties. If it is proposed to criminalise the consensual taking of risks of infection by having unprotected sexual intercourse, enforcement is impractical. The community prefers that sexual relationships are a private matter between the individuals involved and if adults were suddenly to be liable to prosecution for taking known risks with their health, this would represent a significant interference with personal autonomy. Further, the law cannot expect people suddenly to become honest with each other and to counsel the use of condoms, and there may be negative consequences if HIV was to be disclosable, because those who ought to take medical advice and undergo tests, might be discouraged from doing so.

Consequently, the Appeal Court decided that had the women known of his infection, their consent to unprotected sexual intercourse would have been a valid defence. In this regard, they overturned the ruling of the original judge.

In R. v Konzani, the defence argued that by consenting to unprotected sexual intercourse with the defendant, the women were impliedly consenting to all the risks associated with sexual intercourse which included infection with HIV. In cross-examination two of the three women had explicitly acknowledged that, in general, unprotected sexual intercouse carried a risk of infection.

However the Appeal Court judges ruled that before the complainants' consent could provide the appellant with a defence, it had to be an informed and willing consent to the specific risk, here the risk of contracting HIV, rather than the general one of contracting something. The same court held that a person accused of recklessly transmitting a STI could only raise the defense of consent, including an honest belief in consent, in cases where that consent was a "willing" or "conscious" consent. In other words, the court distinguished between “willingly running the risk of transmission” and “willingly consenting to the risk of transmission.” This suggests that consent will only operate as a defense -- in all but the most exceptional of cases -- where there has already been prior disclosure of known HIV positive status. Judge LJ. summaries the situation at para 42:

In the public interest, so far as possible, the spread of catastrophic illness must be avoided or prevented. On the other hand, the public interest also requires that the principle of personal autonomy in the context of adult non-violent sexual relationships should be maintained. If an individual who knows that he is suffering from HIV conceals this stark fact from his sexual partner, the principle of her personal autonomy is not enhanced if he is exculpated when he recklessly transmits HIV to her through consensual sexual intercourse. On any view, the concealment of this fact from her almost inevitably means that she is deceived. Her consent is not properly informed, and she cannot give an informed consent to something of which she is ignorant. Equally, her personal autonomy is not normally protected by allowing a defendant who knows that he is suffering from HIV which he deliberately conceals, to assert an honest belief in his partner's informed consent to the risk of the transmission of HIV. Silence in these circumstances is incongruous with honesty, or with a genuine belief that there is an informed consent. Accordingly, in such circumstances the issue either of informed consent, or honest belief in it will only rarely arise: in reality, in most cases, the contention would be wholly artificial.

The public interest in preventing breaches of the peace

In R v Coney (1882) 8 QBD 534, members of the public who attended an illegal prize fight in a public place were convicted of aiding and abbetting an assault. They were cheering on the boxers whose conduct was likely to and did produce a breach of the peace, so any mutual consent given by the fighters was vitiated by the public nature of the entertainment irrespective of the degree of injury caused and/or intended. Hence, the principal offence was committed and, since it would not have taken place had there been no crowd to bet and support the fighters, the secondary parties were also liable. R v. ...

Consent as an effective defence

In properly regulated sport, there is a legal right to cause incidental injury. This is a criminal law version of the civil law principle volenti non fit injuria (Latin for consent does not make a[n actionable] injury) and the victim consents to run the risk (not the certainty) of injury arising within the rules of the game being played. This does not give sport a license to enact rules permitting acts that are clearly, excessively and maliciously violent. Even professional sport should have an element of fun while the players are, in the more extreme cases, given criminal as well as civil law protection (see R v Johnson (1986) 8 Cr. App. R. (S) 343 and R v Lloyd (1989) CLR 513 dealing with injuries inflicted on the rugby field in "off the ball" incidents). Thus, the consent in licensed boxing events is to intentional harm within the rules and a blow struck between rounds would be an assault. In the common law, civil law refers to the area of law governing relations between private individuals. ... Volenti non fit injuria is a Latin expression meaning to a willing person, no injury is done. The principle is that someone who knowingly and willingly puts himself in a dangerous situation will be legally disentitled to sue for his or her resulting injuries. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...


Where the culture supports the playing of practical jokes and active physical interaction as a form of "fun", those who become a part of that culture must accept the local standards of contact and the injuries that might result. Thus, in R v Aitkin and Others (1992) 1 WLR 1006, the victim was a serving member of the Royal Air Force and the fact that he had participated in practical jokes played on his companions was accepted as evidence that he had consented to become a victim when it was "his turn". Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning to cultivate), generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. ... The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ...

Legal right to cause injury

  • Doctors and all health professionals have a general right to assume a patient's consent for necessary treatment (per Denning LJ. in Bravery v Bravery (1954) 3 AER 59). So if a person is brought into a hospital unconscious, surgery to preserve life will not be unlawful. But, if the health authorities have actual notice that the patient does not consent, even necessary treatment will be unlawful unless either it becomes urgently necessary to take action to avoid death, or consent is given either by a spouse or relative, or by a court. There have been cases, for example, where it was not to be an assault for prison hospitals for force-feed a prisoner on hunger strike, but such cases are not of general application. When in doubt, consent should be sought from the courts. In any event, treatment will only be lawful if it is of therapeutic rather than cosmetic value. Similarly, tattooing, ear piercing and other cosmetic procedures will be lawful if there is actual consent.
  • Parents and others who are in loco parentis have a limited right to administer reasonable parental punishment: see A v UK (1998) CLR 892 and H (2002) 1 Cr. App. R. 59, but teachers are prohibited from administering corporal punishment: s548 Education Act 1996: Williams v Secretary of State for Education and Employment (2003) 1 AER 385.

The term en loco parentis, Latin for in the place of a parent, refers to the legal responsibility of a person or organization to take on some of the functions and responsibilities of a parent. ...

California Supreme Court ruling on Liability for HIV Infection

A man who is accused of infecting his wife or longtime sexual partner with the AIDS virus may have to disclose his past sexual activities to determine whether he should have known he was HIV-positive, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday.[2] California Supreme Court Ruling was a 4-2 decision.Docket file in PDF[3]and in Word.[4]

Iowa Supreme Court upholds HIV-spreading conviction

The Iowa Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Adam Donald Musser, by refusing to hear his appeal. Adam Donald Massuer is serving 50 years in prison for criminal transmission of HIV for intentionally exposing someone to HIV.[5]

See also

Informed consent is a legal condition whereby a person can be said to have given consent based upon an appreciation and understanding of the facts and implications of an action. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Operation Spanner was the name of an operation carried out by police in Manchester in the United Kingdom in 1987. ...


  • Anderson, Jack. Mens Sana in Corpore Sano? Violence in Sport and the Criminal Law. Irish Student Law Review.[6]
  • Clarke, Law and Order on the Courts: The Application of Criminal Liability for Intentional Fouls During Sporting Events, (2000) Vol. 32 Arizona State Law Journal, 1149.
  • McCutcheon, J. Paul. Sports Violence, Consent and the Criminal Law, (1994) 45 N. I. L. Q. 267.
  • The Law Commission: Consultation Paper No. 134 Criminal Law - Consent and Offences against the Person; A Response on the Issues for Sports and Games' by the Central Council of Physical Recreation, submitted by Peter Lawson, General Secretary, (1995) 3 Sport and the Law Journal 4.



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