Some suggestions for Sex Law Reform

  • Donald J. West
Part of the Oxford Socio-Legal Studies book series (OSLS)


Academics like to justify personal opinions on controversial legal topics by claiming to base their views on high-sounding general principles, such as Mill’s pronouncements on liberty or Professor Hart’s celebrated declaration of the independence of law and morals (Hart, 1962). Although guilty of this myself before now, the present discussion will be limited to simpler, pragmatic considerations, taking each case for reform on its separate merits. One needs to consider which groups of people fall foul of the law, why they do not or cannot conform, what is the nature of the harm they bring about, and whether the problems underlying their offending behaviour might be alleviated without resort to the criminal law. I am less concerned with whether the laws adhere to a consistent philosophy than whether, in their practical application, they contribute to the resolution of conflicts between citizens without generating worse troubles than the disturbances they are intended to settle.


Sexual Assault Sexual Contact Sexual Offence Juvenile Court Legal Context 
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Copyright information

© Donald J. West 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald J. West

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