Activity: Participating in or organising an event types › Participation in workshop, seminar, course
Modern liberal legal systems place remarkable weight on consent when it comes to the permissibility or criminality of interpersonal action. However, in the context of sexual offending, in particular, consent is a hotly contested concept. From the wealth of socio-legal scholarship in this area two key questions can be identified: 1) what is consent i.e., what does it look like and how do we identify consent in the context of sexual relations; and 2) what is the relationship between the concept of consent and related concepts such as coercion in the context of sexual offending. These questions have preoccupied academic discussions on the complexity of consent, with additional difficulties arising where children are involved or the conduct occurs/ is facilitated by a digital platform.
Yet, these complexities have been somewhat side-lined within mainstream public discourse. Indeed, in the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp the concept of consent has been widely embraced and mantras such as ‘yes means yes’ have dominated discussions on sexual violation. Amnesty International, for instance, are running a ‘Let’s Talk about Yes!’ campaign aimed at changing the law in the 12 out of 31 European countries that have a force as opposed to a consent-based law of rape. This workshop provides the opportunity to reflect on these developments and encourage more nuanced conversations around the concept of consent and its place within the law of rape, as well as other forms of sexual offending.