R V Brown Case Study

Good Essays
Topics: Law, Human rights
1.) The legal issue in R V Brown case that the house of lord had to determine was "Is consent a defence to an assault causing grievous bodily harm"
This is a case of sado-masochism where the group of men were engaged in act of violence against each other particularly on their genital parts, by branding or genital torture for sexual pleasure. The victims in each case consented to this ritual (activity) and didn't suffer any permanent injury. Each of the defendants faced assault ABH charges and unlawful wounding. When the trial judge ruled that "consent is not a defence" the defendants plead guilty but appealed on the consent issue.
The House of Lords conclusion on this matter was "Consent is not a defence to an assault causing grievous bodily harm”. Consent is irrelevant when the illegal act of violence is involved such that the infliction of either actual or grievance bodily harm is a probable consequence. A defendant could be convicted of illegal wounding and assault occasioning actual bodily harm while committing sado-masochistic acts that caused injuries even if they are not permanent or serious enough and the acts were committed in private, the person involved consented to the acts, and the victim/s did not sustain permanent injury.
2.) The violence of sadomasochistic activities involves the indulgence of cruelty by sadists and humiliation of the victims. Such violence can be harmful and incredibly dangerous to the participants. Whereas, in some cases violence is not a punishable act under the criminal law. If no ABH is caused, the consent of the affected person prevents him from complaining. For instance if the victim has consented to the assault, there can be no conviction for the summary offence of common assault even when violence is deliberately inflicted and caused an actual or serious bodily harm. While in the case of R V brown the evidence showed that use of alcohol and drugs were employed to get consent. The victims were bound so the sadists could

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