Consent Remains a Contentious Issue in Many Legal Cases, Experts Say

The article highlights the need for a clear legal and societal understanding of consent to curb rape and deliver justice to survivors. It discusses recent efforts to redefine consent as an affirmative expression in various jurisdictions.

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Rafia Tasleem
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Consent Remains a Contentious Issue in Many Legal Cases, Experts Say

Consent Remains a Contentious Issue in Many Legal Cases, Experts Say

The concept of consent continues to be a point of contention in numerous reported legal cases, according to Siddhartha Misra and Anukriti Sharma in a recent opinion piece. They stress the need for a clear grasp of consent to eliminate rape shield defenses and provide justice to survivors.

Misra and Sharma highlight that while mutual consent is the accepted basis of any intimate relationship, there are many cases where consent becomes a "bone of contention" between parties. They point to a recent survey by Tinder which revealed that young adults lack adequate knowledge of what constitutes consent and how it should be sought.

Why this matters: The issue of consent lies at the heart of many sexual assault and rape cases. Clarifying the legal definition and societal grasp of consent is vital for protecting victims and delivering justice.

The authors discuss the legal framework around consent in India, noting amendments made to the Indian Penal Code and Indian Evidence Act. They also mention efforts in other jurisdictions to redefine consent as an affirmative expression, such as Spain's "only yes means yes" law and the inclusion of "affirmative consent" in UK and Canadian legislation.

"While the change in law on consent is a welcome step, it needs to be accompanied by necessary measures to fill the gaps and ensure the evolving grasp of consent is effectively implemented," Misra and Sharma write. They argue that beyond legal changes, education and awareness are key to establishing a clear societal grasp of consent.

Key Takeaways

  • Consent remains a contentious issue in sexual assault cases.
  • Surveys show young adults lack adequate knowledge of consent.
  • Legal frameworks are evolving to define consent as affirmative.
  • Legal changes need to be accompanied by education and awareness.
  • Clarifying consent is vital for protecting victims and delivering justice.