When Yes Actually Means Yes

Confusing Messages and Criminalising Consent
  • James A. Roffee


There is little question that unwanted — that is, non-consensual — sexual activities have rightly been the focus of much public concern, academic debate and criminal justice system response. A primary concern for regulators in choosing to use criminal law is the protection of those who are subjected to unwanted sexual activity. However, regulators have also enacted criminal prohibitions against a range of other sexual activities that are consensual and not unwanted by the individuals involved. Although a number of common law jurisdictions have sought a clear and coherent rationale for the selection and categorisation of acts to be contained more generally within the criminal law, there has been little success to date in creating a coherent body of law. As such, the regulation of sex, in particular, through the criminal law, is done in an ad hoc and crude manner.


Sexual Activity Sexual Encounter Sexual Offence Consensual Sexual Activity Sexual Autonomy 
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© James A. Roffee 2015

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  • James A. Roffee

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