Entry: "Oona King backs proposed Law Change on Rape Reform in Commons today..."

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Today a 10-minute rule bill has been put to the House of Commons to reform the law on rape supported by Oona King MP.

The Bill aims to redefine consent to sex along the Canadian model that rape happens when there isn’t free agreement to sex. It outlines a non-exhaustive list of occasions where free agreement cannot be given – for example where the victim submits because of threats of serious harm to them or others or where the victim was asleep or unconscious. The Bill also requires that in every rape case where any sexual history is mentioned, the judge gives a direction to the jury that consent to sex on any one occasion cannot be assumed to imply consent on any other occasion.

Speaking today Oona King said
‘The definition of consent to sex needs to be changed, It is unacceptable that we have Defence Counsels in this 21st Century being able to say that a woman or man shouting ‘No, No, No’ to sex should be disregarded and that in fact the person means yes.’

Currently defendants can claim an honest belief in consent – and that belief has to stand up to no test of reasonableness. So that if a defendant can convince the jury that he honestly believed the witness though kicking and screaming was consenting, they have to acquit him.