We are thrilled to bits that the Law Commission recognises that "adult people should generally be entitled to make choices for themselves".
We are delighted that the Law Commission agree with Countdownon Spanner that consent is all important. It's the same freely given consent which distinguishes an act of love from rape.
In the Spanner case (Brown) the men's consent was declared irrelevant by a judge who thought he had public opinion on his side. The Law Commission has conducted a widespread consultation and discovered that most people regard the prosecution as an invasion of privacy.
The Law Commission proposes that in general it should not be acriminal offence to injure a person who:
This means that the Law Commission have recommended that SM sex should be legal; under their recommendations the Spannermen could never have been prosecuted.
This also undermines the UK Government's case at the European Commission on Human Rights.
Since the Spanner raids in 1987 the Government has not dared prosecute anyone else for SM sex perhaps because this would bedeeply unpopular with the public and would trigger a massivecampaign of civil disobedience led by Countdown on Spanner.
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On 14 December 1995 the Law Commission here in England issued recommendations for updating the law on consent and offences against the person. The above text was Countdown on Spanner's response.
The proposed law reform would go a long way toward legalising SM in the UK; however the proposals are unlikely to be heeded by the government, especially in the current political climate and in the light of the split opinions of the European Commissioners as also revealed this week.
The European case is proceeding, with a probable court date in late '96. The Spanner Trust is now formally constituted. Send email for more info.
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