Legislating Consent: Creating an Inclusive Definition of Consent to Sex

Social & Legal Studies, Volume 25, Issue 2, 2016

29 Pages Posted: 14 May 2016

See all articles by Anna Arstein-Kerslake

Anna Arstein-Kerslake

University of Melbourne - Law School

Eilionóir Flynn

National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG); University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Date Written: May 12, 2016

Abstract

In this article, we draw on our experiences of law reform in Ireland to explore how to create a definition of consent to sex that is inclusive of people with cognitive disabilities. Using critical disability and feminist theory, we give the context in which capacity to consent to sex law is currently operating. We critique the law on the basis that it holds people with cognitive disabilities to a different standard of sexual decision-making than others. We tell the story of the movement in Ireland to reform such law and our experiences working collaboratively with artists, disabled people’s organisations and parliamentarians to achieve change.

Keywords: cognitive disabilities, law reform

JEL Classification: K00, K39

Suggested Citation

Arstein-Kerslake, Anna and Flynn, Eilionóir, Legislating Consent: Creating an Inclusive Definition of Consent to Sex (May 12, 2016). Social & Legal Studies, Volume 25, Issue 2, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2779393

Anna Arstein-Kerslake (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

Eilionóir Flynn

National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) ( email )

University Road
Galway, Co. Kildare
Ireland

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

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