Skip to comments.Irish Supreme Court Strikes Down Age of Sexual Consent Law
Posted on 05/29/2006 12:45:27 PM PDT by wagglebee
DUBLIN, Ireland, May 29, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Ireland's Supreme Court struck down the nation's statutory rape law as unconstitutional last week, leaving a legal void the Department of Justice is now scrambling to fill.
A provision in the law made sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 15 automatically considered rape, regardless of the circumstances. The Supreme Court ruled the law was unconstitutional on the grounds it did not leave room for a genuine mistake, even if it were proven that a girl had lied about her age, reported the Irish Emigrant this morning.
The ruling resulted from a recent case of a man charged with four counts of statutory rape for having sex with a 14-year-old girl. He was 18 at the time; the girl told him she was 16.
Although the ruling accepted the man's defence, the court did state that "the protection of young girls from engaging in consensual sex is a legitimate end to be pursued by appropriate means," indicating the need for new legislation.
Multiple cases of statutory rape charges before the courts were thrown into question by the ruling, media reported last week. RTÉ news reported Friday on a 38-year old man convicted of the unlawful carnal knowledge of a 12-year-old girl, two years ago, who was expected to challenge his conviction in court this week. The Irish Times reported Saturday on several cases, including a 26-year-old man who was allowed to withdraw his guilty plea of having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
Rape support groups expressed outrage over the ruling, saying it would give a "green light" to child sex offenders. A spokeswoman for the Rape Crisis Network said the new laws could strengthen the protection of children, however, by including young boys in the legislation, a group left largely unprotected by the 1935 law, reported the Emigrant.
New laws closing the temporary legal gap are expected to be in place within two weeks.
Irish Supreme Court Strikes Down Age of Sexual Consent Law
Now the left will look for a way to do away with statuatory rape laws altogether.
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The courts are out of control everywhere, it seems.
Ping for you.
I think I read that Aer Lingus is having a sale on airfares to Ireland this week.
These guys seem determined to show us that an independent judiciary is simply something that doesn't work.
Ridiculous. If she lied about her age (and lets face it, some 12 year old girls look 18), and admitted it in court, how can he be charged?
Then throw out the charges not the law.
St. Patrick pray for them.
||Irish weddings are bad enough with the drunken brawls...now this.|
I guess there are black robed Nazgul all over the world. Judicial tyranny.
It's a terrible thing that convicted offenders are taking advantage of the Irish Supreme Court ruling - but, to be fair, it was bad law considering cases where a teenaged girl lied about her age to an older man - and it couldn't be used as defence in court.
I hope the Irish government bring in a better worded law - except 'Irish government' and 'well-worded law' are mutually exclusive notions...
I wish they'd sell Aer Lingus..
Maybe I'm in the minority here, but the 18-year old male may be entitled to some understanding. I'm not sure he really should be branded a rapists and sex offender for the rest of his life (not to mention serve a long jail term), if this girl really made a plausible claim that she was 15 or 16.
I've got far less sympathy for older males who make the same claim.
"Then throw out the charges not the law."
Now that does not make a lot of sense. Why have a law that is wrong? Do you think that eveyone who is convicted of it should then have to work there way up to the supreme court to get it thrown out. If this law had been written with common sense instead of a MOB mentality then this would not have happened. There was another thread on this here on FR a few days ago. People had a much different oppinion on that one. That fact is that this was bad law. The man was entitled to a defense. Not that what he did was right, but you have to look at the whole picture in this day and age when we are turnning into a police state. Sooner or later we are going to be found guilty of some crime. If you take the right of defense away from some then someday it will taken from you as well. It is a bad precident.
Under the circumstances, you are correct.
There's something rotten in Ireland.
No, you're not in the minority. In virtually every state in this country, 18 year olds and 16 year olds can have sex without breaking the law. Heck, a 15 year old and a 14 year old can in most states.
A law that makes no provision for teenagers having sex with other teenagers near their age is just wrong. There is no sense in criminalizing what most of us have done ourselves.
This was a bad law, and needs to be re-written. That's what supreme courts do...throw out bad laws and force legislators to think again and make the law sensible.
An eighteen year old with a fourteen year old who may or may not have lied about her age is one thing.
This is quite another.
Soon Steven Breyer will be seeing this precedent as applying to the 14th amendment's equal protection clause. Democrats think that sex with children is merely an alternative lifestyle.
Ireland is down the sewer.
Shouldn't the burden be on the older person to obtain proof of age? Heck, a store that sells tobacco or booze to a minor that lied about their age is still guilty.
Out of wedlock sex should require a higher standard than this.
The gays have a desire to remove all age barriers, this ruling is one of the cases to that end.
A posting about this a few days ago gave a little better take on the matter. Under the law that was struck down, a defense wasn't allowed if the accused acknowled that the act took place.
In the case that challenged the law the former posting indicated the boy was seventeen and the girl was fifteen though she told him she was sixteen. In that case I think the court's ruling was a good one. If she had been sixteen there wouldn't have been a crime.
If he took the time to know her, there wouldn't have been a crime either.
The Randall P. McMurphy defense.
Sure.. ID cards can't be faked. < /sarcasm >
Is Aer Lingus any relation to Connie Lingus?
There was a thread recently on FR about a vigilante who murdered two convicted sex offenders whose addresses he was able to get from a database. Naturally, he received lots of thumbs up on the forum despite the fact that one of the "sex offenders" he murdered was an 18 or 19 year-old high school student convicted of having sex with his underaged girlfriend.
Sheesh. I really don't care much about Irelands Supreme Court but I would hope that not one Justice on the SCOTUS thinks that he has the power to throw out "bad laws".
That's how the Constitution of Ireland works - it's the only check we have on the Executive and the Legislative.
I'm confused... can the US Supreme Court throw out unconstitutional laws?
I hadn't heard about that.
Overall I love FR, and freepers in general. But a couple of individuals need to dial back their blood lust just a little bit.
Currently, the law doesn't protect boys, according to this article. But hopefully there will be a new law that will.
"I'm confused... can the US Supreme Court throw out unconstitutional laws?
Of course it can, and frequently does.
That's what I thought.
I hope they do - but my government hasn't a good record at bringing in laws without serious loopholes.
"Sheesh. I really don't care much about Irelands Supreme Court but I would hope that not one Justice on the SCOTUS thinks that he has the power to throw out "bad laws"."
By bad laws, I mean laws that are unconstitutional. The SCOTUS (and the lower federal courts) throgh unconstitutional laws out all the time. I doubt that will change anytime soon.
Nope. Aer Lingus is the Irish Airline. Sorry to disappoint you.
Certainly. Can they throw out laws simply because they consider it bad law? Absolutely not.
Bad law and unconstititonal law are not mutually inclusive. But you've clarified that already.
Actually, this law was unconstitutional.
It depends what she looks like.
So they say, I suspect that statement is highly debatable. Do you have a link to the holding?
You may be in the minority, but I agree with you. There are exceptions in U.S. law if the age difference between the two is very small, like 2 years. Otherwise, according to the wording in the article, if a 14 year old has sex with a 14 year old, bot would be guilty of rape since neither is over the age of consent. I think the court was just trying to inject a more reasonable boundary into the law. But then again, that's the job of the legislature, not the court.
The law is there to protect the minor ... not the adult. The onus is on the adult to not break the law. He could have asked for legal proof of her age.
Cheats, liars, ... and child rapists.
Oh, yeah. In the heat of a consensual sexual encounter, with harmones raging on both sides, they're gonna stop and compare ID's.