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Consent as a Common Law Defence to Non-Sexual Assaults: The Effect of Neal v The Queen

Arenson,KJ 2014, Consent as a Common Law Defence to Non-Sexual Assaults: The Effect of Neal v The Queen, University of Tasmania law review, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 300-316.

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Title Consent as a Common Law Defence to Non-Sexual Assaults: The Effect of Neal v The Queen
Author(s) Arenson,KJ
Journal name University of Tasmania law review
Volume number 33
Issue number 2
Start page 300
End page 316
Total pages 17
Publisher University of Tasmania, Faculty of Law
Place of publication Hobart, Tas.
Publication date 2014
ISSN 0082-2108
Summary The following discussion is an exposition of the recognised exceptions to the general rule that the law will not sanction the giving of a lawful consent to the application or threat of actual or grievous bodily harm. The discussion will also focus on a series of decisions in the UK and Australia, particularly Neal v The Queen, that have altered the law's approach to these exceptions and, more importantly, now permit a personto give an informed consent to the risk of contracting HIV or any other sexually transmitted diseases, provided there was no intention on the part of the accused to actually infect the other person. The underlying rationale for sanctioning an informed consent to such a risk is that consenting adults should be accorded the utmost autonomy in conductingtheir private affairs, and particularly so in the context of the choices they make regarding their private sexual activities. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the notion of allowing one to lawfully consent to such a risk, it raises an important question as to the current status of the general rule that one cannot generally give an informed consent to the applicationor threat of actual or grievous bodily harm. More succinctly stated, if the law is prepared to allow an informed consent to the risk of contracting a potentially fatal disease, then what remains of what had previously been a well-settled rule that, save for a few well-recognised exceptions, persons were generally prohibited from consenting to the application or threat of actual or grievous bodily harm?
Language eng
Field of Research 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure
Socio Economic Objective 940499 Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, University of Tasmania
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30071226

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Law
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