This edited volume brings together leading scholars on sexual assault law to discuss the shift towards consent-based sexual assault laws. It explores the complexities of consent in different jurisdictions with reformed sexual assault laws and analyses their strengths and weaknesses.
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Sexual assault law has been undergoing significant shifts around the world. Traditional criminal laws against sexual assault had a narrow scope: they targeted rape as coerced sexual intercourse, and they defined coercion as physical violence or threats with physical violence. Modern offense descriptions are tracing a change in the logic and structure of criminal laws against sexual assault from the offenders' violence to the victims' lack of consent as the key
feature of criminal wrongdoing. However, there are clear and marked differences regarding the offence descriptions in substantive criminal laws in various jurisdictions.
Sexual Assault: Law Reform in a Comparative Perspective provides an overview of the debates surrounding the concept and definition of sexual consent, comparing the context and content of law reform in six countries: Canada, England and Wales, Germany, Sweden, the U.S. (concentrating on the American Law Institute's Model Penal Code), and Spain. Leading scholars in the field also analyse the normative questions that arise once the notion of consent gains centre stage. The overall
purpose is to assess whether the new generation of criminal prohibitions reflect coherent and convincing concepts of sexual autonomy and consent, and what could be considered the best models for future law reform.