THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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The rape of justice

Sex with drunken women could be rape, review to signal - Telegraph.

Harriet Harman is an enormous threat to liberty and justice. She has commissioned a study into how to "improve" the conviction rate for rape. Rape is by its nature a difficult crime to prosecute. It is often not witnessed. I am sure many rapists go unpunished, either because women do not report the offence or because there is insufficient corroboration. That's sad, but the cries to lower the standard of proof for rape are no solution. A conviction rate is not "improved" by convicting the innocent. Just as dangerous is the wheeze thrown up by the report Harman commissioned.

I agree completely with the report's author, Baroness Stern, when she said (of men who commit rape when drunk):
 
"...Being drunk is voluntary and people who become drunk are responsible for their actions. It is not the alcohol that commits the rape... It is not an excuse. It used to be regarded as such, but it is not..."

Exactly. The only way to handle the dis-inhibiting effects of alcohol is to hold drinkers accountable for what they do when drunk. In some ways, this may seem a bit unfair. Most of us have made choices we regretted under the influence of alcohol. But the alternative is to provide people with too easy an excuse for their unwise actions. But how can someone capable of articulating that thought go on to argue that a drunken woman's consent to sex is invalid? How quaint to argue that men are accountable not only for their own actions when drunk, but for those of women too.

This will make bad law. Very bad law. At the very least, men will be blackmailed by women who will falsely claim, after the event, that their consent was invalid. How can it ever be disproved? Even a woman who was stone cold sober could lie. Innocent men will be wrongly convicted because it is impossible to assess (the effects of alcohol varying as they do by individual and by occasion) whether a woman consented or not. This proposal is vile, unjust and typically puritanical. On Labour's past record that's good reason to expect it soon to be law; further de-normalising relations between the sexes in the UK.

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