Ivana Bacik, LL.B., LL.M. (Lond), B.L., F.T.C.D., [https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2115-014X] is Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology at Trinity College Dublin, a barrister and Senator for Dublin University. She has written on human rights law, feminist theories of law, equality law, criminal law and criminology. Her recent publications include (with Dr Mary Rogan), Legal Cases that Changed Ireland (Clarus Press, 2016).
This article offers feminist arguments for the reconsideration of consent as a legal concept, informed by insights gained through the work of the #MeToo movement and other feminist campaigns. It suggests that consent may be seen as legally compromised in certain contexts of structured gender inequality, such as domestic violence, workplace sexual harassment, and prostitution. The legal understanding of consent in such contexts is antithetical to the conception of consent as “freely and voluntarily” given within a mutual sexual relationship. This understanding of consent underpins the recent introduction of the Nordic model approach into Irish law through the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017, which criminalizes the purchase of sexual services; an approach which has been subject to criticism from those who assert that laws criminalizing sex purchase offend against personal autonomy. It is argued here that a reappraisal of consent as capable of being legally compromised in certain contexts can justify the introduction of laws like the 2017 Irish reform from a feminist perspective.
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""If Consent is Bought, It Is Not Freely Chosen": Compromised Consent in Prostituted Sex in Ireland,"
Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence:
3, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dignity/vol5/iss3/6
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