Consent in Criminal Law - Roundtable

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Modern liberal legal systems place remarkable weight on consent when it comes to the permissibility or criminality of interpersonal action. Consent is the vehicle by which autonomy is exercised and respected. Its presence or absence decides whether an act is a serious crime or something benign or neutral. This emphasis on consent contrasts sharply with certain traditional or non-liberal societies where factors apart the immediate choice or attitudes of the parties determine the permissibility or non-permissibility of interactions and sexual relations in particular. Consent, and its so-called transformative power, however, has come under increasing scrutiny lately not from conservative quarters but rather from within liberal theory and from new lines of feminist enquiry.

The Trinity Crime and Punishment Research Group’s Roundtable on Consent in Criminal law showcases contemporary rethinking of the centrality of consent in criminal law with the follow papers:

Dr Eithne Dowds, Queen’s University Belfast: ‘Defining Rape: The Role of Consent, Coercion and Constructive Force’

Dr Tanya Palmer, University of Sussex: ‘Distinguishing sex from sexual violation: Consent, negotiation and freedom to negotiate’
Period13 Oct 2018
Held atTrinity College Dublin, Ireland


  • Consent
  • Rape
  • Criminal Law