party convention

Liberals want sex crimes law based on consent

The Liberal Party has decided to work for a stronger law against sex crimes, which requires that the sex has to be consensual, the news agency TT reports. At the party's convention in Västerås, the party members voted for an addition to the party leadership's proposal, to make it possible to sentence a perpetrator if he or she "should have understood that there was no consent".

The decision comes after a criticised decision in September by a court of appeal to clear six teenage boys of raping a 15-year-old-girl in a Stockholm suburb. The incident took place in March this year, which is before a change in the rape laws came into force in July. In the new law the concept "helpless state" has been replaced by the concept "particularly vulnerable situation". The purpose was to ensure that situations where the victim responds to an attack by remaining passive can also be potentially classified as rape.

But the Liberal Party will now make the case for an even stricter definition, demanding the need for explicit consent to sex. They also want that someone can be convicted of rape if he or she "should have understood" there was no consent.

Also at the convention, the party decided to put the MP to the EU parliament, Marit Paulsen, 73, at the top of their list in next year's election, to give her another 5 years in Brussels. Paulsen was greeted with standing ovations from the assembled members. Party leader Jan Björklund told the news agency TT that "we will be the most Europe friendly party in the elections. It does not mean that we are not critical, but we are the only party that today vigorously defend the co-operation in Europe. If the EU is just constantly criticised, this support will of course decrease."

Professor: Consent clause "normative" rather than practical effect

#text=5706268#Introducing a clause on consent in the rape laws would not lead to more convictions, according to legal experts. A change in the law may however have a normative effect.

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