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Offences Against the Person. Case note regarding R. v Brown [1994] 1 A.C. 212.

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Introduction

Case note regarding R. v Brown [1994] 1 A.C. 212. Fatima Gurbanova 1103134 IA120 Audrey Woraker The sado-masochist group which ?willingly and enthusiastically?[1] applied violence upon each other in order to receive a sexual pleasure was held guilty under sections ?20 and 47 the Offences against Person Act 1861?[2]. Section 20 of the Offences against person act 1861 states: ?Whosoever shall unlawfully and maliciously wound or inflict any grievous bodily harm upon any other person, either with or without weapon or instrument, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable to be kept in penal servitude?[3], section 47 states: ?Whosoever shall be convicted upon an indictment of any assault occasioning actual bodily harm will be liable to be kept in penal servitude?[4]. Appellants being unsatisfied with the sentence of the court applied for appeal arguing that the act under which they were sentenced is inappropriate in the given conditions. The appellants were experiencing their sado-masochistic exercises on private property, without involving ?children, young persons (except for K. who was limited in contact) or animals?[5]. Their activities were not intended to be shown to public, and the tapes with their activities were intended only to be shown among the members of the group. ...read more.

Middle

home and his correspondence?[16] in their appeals, however Lord Lowry disagreed with this refer saying that the article 8 of the Convention is not a part of the English Law and links to the article 8 (2) of the Convention that states that ?no public authority can be said to have interfered with a right by enforcing the provisions of the Act 1861?[17]. In present case ?at least actual bodily harm?[18] was committed; therefore private life is no longer a right in given circumstances. Nonetheless, Lord Mustill in his decision defined the current case as nothing but the ?private sexual relations?[19] which is not a problem of the criminal law. The interesting point that was showed by Lord Mustill is that there are no suitable cases and no appropriate statutes to this case. ?The indictment was made only because no other statute was found which could conceivably be brought to bear upon them?[20]. Lord Slynn Hadley in his conclusion stated: ?adults can consent to acts done in private which do not result serious bodily harm?[21] and continues saying that therefore the present case cannot be classified as one of the cases that can be sentenced under the Offences Against Person Act 1861. ...read more.

Conclusion

Overall, the court dismissed the appeal because the majority of the Lords held that the group of sado-masochists was applying violence on each other and their acts were unlawful. However, two other Lords (Lord Mustill and Lord Slynn Hadley) expressed the opposite opinion which was not without certain basis. The acts were committed in private, without any enforcement, all the participants were adults, able to understand what they were enacted. The injuries that the appellants had were not serious enough, and the actions that they were doing did not result any crucial consequence. The Offences against Person Act was established in order to punish the cases that include violence and enforcement, which are absent in the current case. It is seen from the Lord?s judgments that the main base for the Lords who dismissed the appeal was the disgust to the amoral activities enacted by the appellants; therefore the decision can be called a prejudice. Yes, the acts that were done by the appellants were perverted, and hardly can be called normal, but however they did not affect anyone except themselves and they were not against this; on the contrary they showed will to experience all the injuries that they had. ...read more.

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