R V Brown Case Study
Each of the defendants faced assault ABA charges and unlawful wounding. When the trial judge ruled that “consent is not a defense” the pendants plead guilty but appealed on the consent issue.
The House of Lords conclusion on this matter was “Consent is not a defense 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 sad-masochistic acts that caused injuries even If they are not permanent or serious enough and the acts were omitted In private, the person involved consented to the acts, and the velvet/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 ABA 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 mammary 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 enjoy the excitement of power and the victim could enjoy the thrill of dependence.
The victim can’t control the Injury inflicted by the sadist who Is also Intoxicated with alcohol and drugs. For example once the velvet was branded twice on his thigh and there was clear doubt about whether he nonsense against the second branding. Sadomasochism Is worse than violence, as Lord Templeton said “In sport where violence and injury is anticipated there are rules guarding it, outside sporting rules the law applies and more importantly when anyone is hurt (even in boxing and wrestling) medical attention is sought before the player can continue and if the injury is very serious they may not continue.
In sadomasochism, injury is the highlight of the event; it is part of and an intentional effect of the activity whether or not medical attention is sought later. ” Regardless of he argument, whether or not those sadist who get pleasure from causing pain should be punished? It Is not unreasonable for the law to enforce boundaries on the level of pain caused by these consensual activities.
3. ) Lord Templeton suggested that to allow the appeal would have adverse effects on society as such acts could be belligerent and harmful to mind and public morality.
He decided that the sadist acts should not be afforded the protection of consent. Lord Templeton conclude his judgment as “Society is entitled and bound to protect itself against a cult of lenience. Pleasure earlier Trot ten Monticello AT plan Is an evil ting. Cruelty Is uncivilized.
I would answer the certified question in the negative and dismiss the appeals of the appellants against conviction. The abovementioned statement has been criticized by many.
As his poor choice of words, for instance cult and evil compromised the impartiality of his Judgment. Many questioned did he find the answer to legal issue by applying the law to the fact of the case or attempt the law to support the application of his own morality to the legal issue? In my opinion, even Hough the description of sadist acts performed by appellants are disgusting but judges should be impartial and concentrate on excerpting the facts of the case and applying the law on these facts and use the outcome to find an answers to the legal issues.
The rule of law is compromised when Judges starts to use their personal ethics to decide cases.
So, even though the decision was right but the motive was completely wrong. 4. ) The moral argument for the R V Brown case based on the idea that these sadist act are so injurious, to the person and to society, that consent to them shouldn’t be legally valid. As Lord Lowry suggested: “Sad-masochistic homosexual activity cannot be regarded as conducive to the enhancement or enjoyment of family life or conducive to the welfare of society”.
Interestingly, in the Wilson case, a husband branded his wife’s bottoms with his initials using the hot knife, on his wife’s request. In this case the wife’s consent was a defense.
As with R V Brown case there was no complaint from any of the members but they were charged with “sections 47, Assault occasioning actual bodily harm and 20, malicious wounding and inflicting grievous bodily harm of the PAPA 1861”. There conviction was sustained in the house of lord as the Judgment was consent is no defense to the offences committed by the appellant.
Whereas when appealed, the Wilson case was discharged, with the act of branding considered as: “the acquisition of a desirable piece of personal adornment”, like tattooing or ear/nose piercing for decorative jewelry and the pain caused from it is incidental. The court also acknowledged that: “Consensual activity between husband and wife, in the privacy of the matrimonial home, is not a proper matter for criminal investigation or prosecution”. Comparing the Wilson Case with R V Brown and Lord Lorry’s above mentioned statement including the word homosexual seems like prejudices the main issue.
And the question raises that to what extent people have the right to decide what happens to their own bodies. When is consent lawful and when it shouldn’t be valid? 5. ) European human rights convention (Article 8) states that:” everyone has the right to respect for their private life, and that there should be no interference with the exercise of this right except where it is necessary in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic wellbeing of the country, or for the protection of the rights of others”.
The case of R V brown doesn’t fall within any of these exception cases so was the prosecution an unjustified breach of article 8? Even though The European human rights commission ruled that application in favor of defendants that their convictions were in breach of the European human rights convention’s provisions on privacy rights. But the court’s decision was the United Kingdom government, through its laws, did have the right to interfere in people’s private lives n order to protect the health and morality of the public.
Some people might think R V Brown Judgment was rather biased towards the defendants but maybe there is a good reason to restrict tenet sexual activities Decease sadomasochism Is all auto violence.
Although a consensual activity but alcohol and drugs were involved to get consent and buzz. The other concern is possibility of young people been introduced to these kind of activities or groups. So the bottom line is Private consensual activity not always immune from interference of law especially in a case where crime is involved.