Following the publication of „The Report of the Judicial Inspection on the practice of the courts and the prosecutor’s offices attached to them in the investigation and resolution of cases regarding crimes in the sexual life with minor victims”, countless debates and legislative proposals appeared in the public space aimed at correcting the deficiencies found. One of the debated topics concerns the validity of minors’ consent to sexual acts.
Starting from this debate, we set out to study the role of consent in the case of rape and sexual intercourse with a minor. The role of the material is to show what are the views expressed in the doctrine and to raise certain questions regarding the line of separation between the two crimes, such as:
- Can all acts without consent be qualified as rape? The answer is NO, because the criminal law does not talk about consent when defining rape.
- Is there an age below which it is considered that the minor is unable to express his will regarding acts of a sexual nature and therefore, are they qualified as rape? The answer is NO, because the “impossibility to express one’s will” is analyzed on a case-by-case basis, and age is not always the determining factor.
- What does “consent” mean in the case of the crime of “Sexual act with a minor”? Does the lack of opposition to the sexual acts implies consent? A positive response from the minor, is it consent? What are the conditions of the minor’s valid consent? The answer is not obvious, because it does not follow what is the role of discernment, how the validity of the consent is influenced by the vices of error and fraud or if it influences it, if it is necessary to analyze the minor’s ability to understand and accept the consequences of his actions.
This material is an invitation to debate and reflection.