Irish laws to define sexual consent will be heard by the Cabinet today


Today, the issue of sexual consent will be brought before the Cabinet. 

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald will seek Cabinet approval to define sexual consent in Irish legislation for the first time ever. 

She will present a memo to this morning’s meeting outlining the inconsistency in Irish law and how she would address it.

The changes will include a definition that a person is incapable of consenting to a sexual act if they are asleep or unconscious.

This includes those who are unconscious due to intoxication, and those who are mistaken about the identity of the other person.

The changes to the law will also stress that a person cannot consent if they are being unlawfully detained, if they are unable to communicate due to a physical disability or if consent is offered through a third party.

A Department of Justice source told the Irish Times that the provisions would provide additional clarity for the legal system in sexual offences cases.

They would also serve “ as a clear reminder to those who would take advantage of persons who, in particular circumstances, are unable to consent.

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill, is due to be debated in the Dáil on February 1.