Tag Archives: Law

Whither consent?

Writing in spiked! recently, barrister Barbara Hewson suggests that the age of consent for sexual activity should be restored to its pre-1885 position of 13.

Reducing the age of consent to 13 for all sexual acts would bring the UK in line with Spain, although Spain has a legal caveat that allows for prosecution where sexual consent is obtained by deception in the case of a person aged between 13 and 16. Until 1995, the age of consent in Spain was 12. Indeed, Britain’s age of consent is high by the standards of European countries, many of which have an age of consent for heterosexual acts of 14 or 15, although the age of consent for homosexual acts is not necessarily the same. Among other developed nations, Japan has an age of consent of 13, although this is subject to further restrictions.

An interesting note to this matter is that until 1993, English common law held that a boy under the age of 14 could not commit rape as a principal offender because he was irrebuttably presumed to be incapable of sexual intercourse. That a boy of that age is indeed so capable has been the subject of some publicity.

While there is some merit in arguing about the moral, physiological, emotional and cultural import of an age of consent, and the extent to which children need to be protected both from the attentions of adults and their peers, we should also consider all this in the context of what consent has come to mean in the implementation of the law. Consent is not, and never was, the same as a contract, whereby terms are mutually agreed and non-performance brings with it an entitlement to compensation. Rather, consent is a highly complex concept which is changing rapidly in its meaning. Continue reading

How to win friends and impress America

Josie  M. Jordison (guest writer)

There could be trouble brewing, here in California. Someone called Joao Vale de Almeida has taken it upon herself to lecture the USA and this state in particular about the use of the death penalty.

There are of course libertarians who oppose it on fundamental objectivist grounds. There are moreover those who say it is jurisprudentially allowable in circumstances where sovereign individuals have the right of lethal force against intruders and those who would harm them and theirs. In this scenario they can delegate their right to punish lethally, to an externalised agency.

This interference in our businesses here will not go down well.

Addendum: Getting used to this dashboard. I now find that the Eudude is a man.

Anarcho-Capitalism versus Minarchism

David Davis

Interesting analysis over at CountingCats, of a problem which has been bugging me for some years: how to ensure Order becoming the inevitable daughter of Liberty, as she really is, instead of people thinking that Liberty arises out of imposed order.

The erosion of liberty in small cuts, or how to boil frogs

Michael Winning

I saw this on Devil’s kitchen just now, and really people should read the whole thing. Not us because we know, but pass it round.

Progress on decriminalising drugs?

David Davis

Somebody, somewhere, may begin to take such suggestions seriously one day.

Most libertarians have for a long time stated that the sale, use and possession of all drugs ought to be decriminalised. You can go either on the absolute objectivist argument that a human being’s body is his/her own, not to be interfered with by Statists. Or you can merely refer to the increased order and social utility gained by not having all the associated secomdary crime that surrounds the illicit dealing and supply of drugs at very high prices.

It is most unlikely that the UK’s political parties will be advocating anything like this any time soon. The generalised Puritan-Enemy-Class view of “drugs”, and indeed any other way of gaining simple individual or group enjoyment such as beer or wine or sex, still lies too far to the fascist Left for quick change.

Meanwhile, in the Nissen-Hut, working out the subtext of this message

David Davis

“Ministers will say” that “the professions” should “stop recruiting young people in private education”.

I’m not sure what the duty-Chimpanzee type writers dislike more: the notion that the governmentists will “say” that people who have paid twice for their children’s education must now get nothing at all, or that this “government” has decided that it is a set of farmers, who farm animals called “The Middle Class”, that can be farmed for taxation-revenue as required by varying the size of said farm.

Simple: close the bugger’s department and put them all on the street

David Davis

Some fellow called “Keir” (I thought that was a cocktail) “Starmer” has said that householders ought not to have more right to protect their lives and property. He is something called the “Director of Public Prosecutions”. Not sure what that is for. Employment in a big outdoor-relief-system for superfluous law graduates, possibly. I do not know.

No Parliament can be bound by its predecessors. Therefore, a libertarian Parliament could Bring A Bill (it would be popular) to demolish and close a number of “State Departments”. Terminally. The staff to be put out on the street with a binliner each, having been body-searched for data-devices: all entire computers, disks, files, CDs, sticks, paper-filing-cabinets etc to be malleted or burned with fire.

These “departments” will need to cease to exist. No trace of their operation, existence, activities, salary and pension records, personnel lists, and the rest, must be let to remain.

Including this one.

For example: “Some Say….that there was a government department which said it was in charge of farming and the countryside….but there does not appear to be any evidence in the records…”