Criminal Law (Rape) Act, 1981

JurisdictionIreland
CitationIR No. 10/1981


Number 10 of 1981


CRIMINAL LAW (RAPE) ACT 1981

REVISED

Updated to 1 May 2021


This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of the Criminal Law (Rape) Act 1981. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including the Children (Amendment) Act 2021 (6/2021), enacted 26 April 2021, and all statutory instruments up to and including the Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010 (section 46(5)) Order 2021 (S.I. No. 228 of 2021), made 30 April 2021, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

revisedacts@lawreform.ie.


Number 10 of 1981


CRIMINAL LAW (RAPE) ACT 1981

REVISED

Updated to 1 May 2021


Introduction

This Revised Act presents the text of the Act as it has been amended since enactment, and preserves the format in which it was passed.

Related legislation

Criminal Law (Rape) Acts 1981 and 1990 : this Act is one of a group of Acts included in this collective citation, to be construed together as one ( Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990 (32/1990), s. 22(2)). The Acts in this group are:

Criminal Law (Rape) Act 1981 (10/1981)

Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990 (32/1990)

Annotations

This Revised Act is annotated and includes textual and non-textual amendments, statutory instruments made pursuant to the Act and previous affecting provisions.

An explanation of how to read annotations is available at

www.lawreform.ie/annotations.

Material not updated in this revision

Where other legislation is amended by this Act, those amendments may have been superseded by other amendments in other legislation, or the amended legislation may have been repealed or revoked. This information is not represented in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the amended legislation if one is available.

Where legislation or a fragment of legislation is referred to in annotations, changes to this legislation or fragment may not be reflected in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the legislation referred to if one is available.

A list of legislative changes to any Act, and to statutory instruments from 1972, may be found linked from the page of the Act or statutory instrument at

www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Acts which affect or previously affected this revision

Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017 (28/2017)

Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 (2/2017)

Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Act 2007 (6/2007)

Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2006 (15/2006)

Children Act 2001 (24/2001)

Sex Offenders Act 2001 (18/2001)

Criminal Justice Act 1999 (10/1999)

Sexual Offences (Jurisdiction) Act 1996 (38/1996)

Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990 (32/1990)

Criminal Procedure Act 1967 (12/1967)

All Acts up to and including Children (Amendment) Act 2021 (6/2021), enacted 26 April 2021, were considered in the preparation of this revision.

Statutory instruments which affect or previously affected this revision

None

All statutory instruments up to and including Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010 (section 46(5)) Order 2021 (S.I. No. 228 of 2021), made 30 April 2021, were considered in the preparation of this revision.


Number 10 of 1981


CRIMINAL LAW (RAPE) ACT 1981

REVISED

Updated to 1 May 2021


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS


Acts Referred to

Children Act, 1908

1908, c. 67

Children Act, 1941

1941, No. 12

Criminal Justice Act, 1951

1951, No. 2

Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1935

1935, No. 6

Criminal Procedure Act, 1967

1967, No. 12

Offences against the Person Act, 1861

1861, c. 100

Summary Jurisdiction over Children (Ireland) Act, 1884

1884, c. 19


Number 10 of 1981


CRIMINAL LAW (RAPE) ACT 1981

REVISED

Updated to 1 May 2021


AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW RELATING TO RAPE AND INDECENT ASSAULT ON FEMALES. [6 th May, 1981]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Annotations:

Editorial Notes:

E1

Provision for special treatment of child offences under Act made (1.05.2002) by Children Act 2001 (24/2001), ss. 251, 253-256 and sch. 1, S.I. No. 151 of 2002.

Interpretation.

1

1. F1 [ (1) In this Act

aggravated sexual assault , rape under section 4 and sexual assault have the meanings respectively assigned to them by the Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act, 1990;

complainant means a person in relation to whom a sexual assault offence is alleged to have been committed;

a rape offence means any of the following, namely, rape, attempted rape, burglary with intent to commit rape, aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring rape, attempted rape or burglary with intent to commit rape, and incitement to rape and, other than in sections 2 (2) and 8 of this Act, rape under section 4 , attempted rape under section 4 , aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring rape under section 4 or attempted rape under section 4 and incitement to rape under section 4 ;

a sexual assault offence means a rape offence and any of the following, namely, aggravated sexual assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring aggravated sexual assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault or attempted sexual assault, incitement to aggravated sexual assault or sexual assault and conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing offences. ]

(2) In this Act references to sexual intercourse shall be construed as references to carnal knowledge as defined in section 63 of the Offences against the Person Act, 1861, so far as it relates to natural intercourse (under which such intercourse is deemed complete on proof of penetration only).

(3) In this Act “ man” and “ woman” include respectively a male and a female person of any age; F2 [ ].

Annotations:

Amendments:

F1

Substituted (18.01.1991) by Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990 (32/1990), s. 12, commenced as per s. 22(3).

F2

Repealed (18.01.1991) by Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990 (32/1990), s. 21 and sch. ref. no. 5, commenced as per s. 22(3).

Meaning of “ rape”.

2

2. (1) A man commits rape if—

( a) he has F3 [ ] sexual intercourse with a woman who at the time of the intercourse does not consent to it, and

( b) at that time he knows that she does not consent to the intercourse or he is reckless as to whether she does or does not consent to it,

and references to rape in this Act and any other enactment shall be construed accordingly.

(2) It is hereby declared that if at a trial for a rape offence the jury has to consider whether a man believed that a woman was consenting to sexual intercourse, the presence or absence of reasonable grounds for such a belief is a matter to which the jury is to have regard, in conjunction with any other relevant matters, in considering whether he so believed.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F3

Repealed (18.01.1991) by Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990 (32/1990), s. 21 and sch. ref. no. 5, commenced as per s. 22(3).

Modifications (not altering text):

C1

Application of section extended (19.12.1996) by Sexual Offences (Jurisdiction) Act 1996 (38/1996) s. 2 and schedule, commenced on enactment.

Sexual offences committed outside State.

2.—(1) Where a person, being a citizen of the State or being ordinarily resident in the State, does an act, in a place other than the State (“the place”), against or involving a child which—

( a) constitutes an offence under the law of the place, and

( b) if done within the State, would constitute an offence under, or referred to in, an enactment specified in the Schedule to this Act,

he or she shall be guilty of the second-mentioned offence.

(2) Where a person, being a citizen of the State or being ordinarily resident in the State, attempts to commit an offence which is an offence by virtue of subsection (1) of this section (“the principal offence”), he or she shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction on indictment to a penalty not greater than the penalty to which he or she would have been liable if he or she had been convicted of the principal offence.

(3) Where a person aids, abets, counsels or procures, in the State, the commission of an offence, which is an offence by virtue of subsection (1) of this section, he or she shall be guilty of that offence.

(4) Where a person, being a citizen of the State or being ordinarily resident in the State, aids, abets, counsels or procures, outside the State, the commission of an offence, which is an offence by virtue of subsection (1) of this section, he or she shall be guilty of that offence.

(5) Where a person conspires with, or incites, inside the State, another person to commit an offence, which is an offence by virtue of subsection (1) of this section (“the principal offence”), he or she shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on...

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