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Mental disability and capacity to consent to sex: A Local Authority v H [2012] EWHC 49 (COP)

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In A Local Authority v H [2012] EWHC 49 (COP) Hedley J considered an application to declare that a young woman lacked capacity to engage in sexual relations. He set out what an individual had to understand in order to be able to consent to sex and determined that in this case she lacked the capacity to do so. This note criticises the approach taken by the courts in such cases arguing that the question the courts are asked is the wrong one.

Keywords: Sexual relations; mental capacity; relational autonomy; sexual abuse

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Fellow in Law, Exeter College, Oxford University,

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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