All Change or Business as Usual? Reforming the Law of Rape in Scotland
Rethinking Rape Law: International and Comparative Perspectives Edited by Clare McGlynn and Vanessa Munro (Routledge 2010)
20 Pages Posted: 30 May 2018
Date Written: May 28, 2018
Against a backdrop of heightened political and legal attention to the problem of rape, particularly the low rate of conviction for the offence, this chapter will examine the law on rape in Scotland. It will focus principally upon the recently enacted Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 (the 2009 Act), which completely overhauls the substantive law of rape and other sexual offences in Scotland. The primary issue for discussion will be the reforms to the law of rape, though issues of consent pertain equally to various other sexual offences. Beginning with a brief summary of the common law of rape in Scotland prior to the new Act, the chapter then goes on to consider specific aspects of the new measures and the ways in which much needed changes to the laws in this area have been negotiated. It argues that the reform process was constrained by its remit and that, ultimately, the substantive reforms themselves will have a limited effect.
Keywords: criminal law, rape, sexual offences, Scotland, gender-neutrality
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