Age of consent – legal and criminal regulations concerning age of consent in continental and common law Cover Image
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Wiek zgody – prawnokarne regulacje wieku uprawniającego do rozpoczęcia współżycia w prawie kontynentalnym i common law
Age of consent – legal and criminal regulations concerning age of consent in continental and common law

Author(s): Małgorzata Dziewanowska
Subject(s): Essay|Book Review |Scientific Life
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: wiek zgody - prawnie ustalona granica określająca moment w którym osoba nieletnia może rozpocząć współżycie bez obarczania siebie i patrtnera odpowiedzialnością karną; życie seksualne; ochrona prawna; prawo karne; związek dziecko - dorosły

Summary/Abstract: Age of consent is usually understood as the minimum age at which a person is considered to be legally competent of consenting to different kinds of sexual acts. The reason to set this limit is to protect children from various kinds of abuse that may happen in relations between very young and elderly partners. The law usually protects individuals until certain age to make sure that the decision of starting sexual life is fully informed and voluntary. Although the idea behind the age of consent is the same in whole Europe, every country can individually establish the boundary. This article compares different legal provisions and social attitudes toward this problem, which can be seen in both continental and common law. Since in Poland age of consent has not changed for almost 70 years and in the Great Britain it has recently been put into political and legal debates, it brings again a lot of important issues into light. The legal age for sexual activities varies from 13 in Spain to 17 in Ireland, but most countries set it between 14 and 16 years old. However, what is most important here, are the rationales behind the creation of those restrictions, and their compatibility with other regulations concerning sexual and reproductive health and life of young people. The article also discusses different attitudes toward heterosexual and homosexual relations and ideas of removing the age of consent from national/domestic legal systems.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 53
  • Page Range: 87-96
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Polish