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Abstract

The paper explores the contemporary concerns surrounding issues of intoxicated consent in cases of rape, particularly as expressed in U.K. case law, statute, and government policy. During the course of this paper, I will examine recent research on the problematic role of alcohol in sexual assault before going on to discuss specific policy and legislative responses to the problem of intoxicated consent. I will also engage in a close reading of several recent rape cases in the U.K. in which the capacity of the intoxicated complainant to consent to sexual intimacy has been of central concern. The paper deals only with actus reus aspects of how consent unfolds in rape cases, and in particular, what amounts to consent when a woman is extremely intoxicated to the point where her capacity to consent is in doubt.

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