I am happy about the the constitutional courts ruling regarding children and their “right” to make their own decisions regarding sex. It should never be the perogative of the legislature or courts to make rulings on a teenagers sex life (albeit that it should be limited).
Obviously if one party did not consent it remains rape, that will have no bearing on what the court was explaining.
A further consideration could be that there are other ways and means to “prosecute” child offenders now. A prosecutor may detour the actual prosecution of the child offender and with the courts approval, detour the child to an outreach programme or for psychological councelling, there are other steps in the process which i will not go into, its too long winded.
In the end it remains the parents resoponsibilty to look after the child, care for the child and raise the child in such a manner that the child will know what is right or wrong. Obviously there will be children that do not take kindly to listening or doing “right”. However, for the most part kids know what the difference is between right and wrong! Our lives have changed with advent of the internet, and so have our kids lives changed with it. Kids today know all about sex, condoms, aids ect… True, they do know the extent of the consequences attached, but at least know that fornicating exposes them to pregnancy, AIDS, and other unwanted “goggos”!!
In my opinion section 15 and 16 of the sexual offences act should have been repealed a long time ago, the world has moved on. When i was a teenager we were indulging in this kind of behaviour, it seems unatural and niaeve to think that teenagers wont do it. Teens are naturally curious about their sexuality. In any case, prosecuting a teen based purely on statute, when consent was given by both parties runs counter to natural justice. The application of such Positive law in this sense could have dire consenques for the convicted “sex” offender, his life will be forever tarnished for something that did not really happen. I crime that in essence did not materialise. Statute alone does not make law, the rules of natural justice need to be adhered to. Along with a good measure of common sense.
I must admit that im not sure what the legislature was trying to achieve when enacting the above sections, were they trying to curb adolescent sex, petting? or where they attempting to create a new rape charge in order to protect minors from adults and each other? Because, if the offence was commited between to consenting teens, their ages within two years of each other then there was no charge. It was a rather convoluted addition.
I for one do not want to know what my teenage daughters/sons (if i had) were doing with every minute with Joe soap! Teens are entitled to their privacy….within limits of course. To explore their natural instinct is pivotal and natural, not only for them intrinsically but for the human species. This kind of behaviour is perfectly natural, in fact i would argue that a law against it would be unconstitutional and counter to natural justice. and nature.
Please feel free to comment, also please keep you religious views to yourself. This is a law blog not a bible punching soap box, thank you 🙂