Chapter 6 Outline answers to essay questions

Chapter 6 Outline answers to essay questions

Q: The offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 are unique regarding the mens rea for a serious crime because they are phrased in terms of reasonableness of belief, not simply honest belief.

Consider the truth of the above assertion.

Essay outline answer

You should not attempt this question unless you are able to draw a comparison between other offences/defences and the SOA 2003. You should be able to conclude there is an inconsistency. The case of Morgan [1976] was landmark and has been followed (see Beckford [1988], Williams [1987]). But you also need to be able to identify that belief in consent is not, and has never been, a ‘defence’ but is instead a definitional element of the crime. Finally, you need to offer some analysis of whether the sex crimes are qualitatively different so that reasonableness can be justified.

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