major_clanger: Clangers (Royal Mail stamp) (Legal Clanger)
I was asked to repost this, part of a longer post that was f-locked because it included discussion of a specific case. It's a review of the way in which English criminal law addresses the question of whether someone can consent to sex if very drunk but not actually insensible.

Intoxication and Consent )
major_clanger: Clangers (Royal Mail stamp) (Legal Clanger)
Remember this query? Well, I noticed that Chambers' library has a copy of Rook and Ward on Sexual Offences, the standard practitioner text on the subject. (A 'practitioner text' is a book, usually by experienced lawyers, that is respected enough that you can generally get away with citing it in court.) I looked up s.69 SOA 2003 and sure enough R&W says that "The offence cannot be committed if the animal is dead", so my understanding was right - necrophiliac bestiality isn't an offence.

However, in reading the relevant section I noticed that the authors comment on how the interpretation section of the SOA includes a provision at s.79(10) that in relation to an animal, references to the vagina or anus (which form part of the definition of the offence) include references to any similar part. As they go on to say, "It is not clear what lies behind this provision, i.e. what animal might be involved in [bestiality] that does not have a vagina or anus but has a "similar part".(fn22)"

I reproduce footnote 22 verbatim:

"There is an anecdote to the effect that a learned academic criminal lawyer, having pondered this provision for some time, telephoned the Home Office to ask what animal they had in mind. After mature deliberation, they called him back with the answer "a lobster". We have been unable to confirm the truth of this story."
major_clanger: Clangers (Royal Mail stamp) (I Am The Law!)
My Darling Beloved ([ profile] darth_hamster) has asked me a question.

Me: Hmmm... I'll have to check. Pass me that really thick dark blue book called Blackstone's, will you?

(Riffle of pages)

Me: Well, section 69(1)(b) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 makes bestiality an offence, but only with a living animal. And section 70(1)(b) criminalises necrophilia, but only with a dead person.

DH: So if Fred shoots his horse then has sex with it...?

Me: ...He hasn't, on the face of it, actually broken the law...

It was so much simpler when friends and family asked about root-undermined fences, or copyright in old photographs.

Addendum: As I went on to explain, necrophiliac bestiality (bestial necrophilia?) would, if done it public, almost certainly lead to a conviction for the handy all-purpose common-law offence of outraging public decency (which I've wittered on about before.) And of course there's the legality of shooting the horse, although having looked up the law on animal welfare my understanding is that it's only an offence to cause suffering to an animal you own; killing it quickly and humanely is not against the law.


major_clanger: Clangers (Royal Mail stamp) (Default)
Simon Bradshaw

September 2017



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