Minister Flanagan welcomes the publication of the Law Reform Commission’s Report on Knowledge or Belief Concerning Consent in Rape Law


“I welcome this important report by the Law Reform Commission on the issue of consent in rape law. The Commission has produced a very thorough and expert examination of a complex issue. 


Whether a person’s belief in consent must be reasonably held has been the subject of considerable debate, including when the Criminal Law Sexual Offences Act 2017 was being debated in the Oireachtas. My predecessor, Minister Frances Fitzgerald and the Attorney General discussed the issue in detail, which led to the referral of the matter to the Law Reform Commission for consideration.


I am delighted to welcome the resulting report today. Ireland’s law on Sexual Offences has been greatly reformed in recent years, however the difficult issue of consent has been one area that needed further attention. The detailed recommendations in the Report will now be addressed as a priority by my Department and work will begin immediately to develop the necessary legislative proposals arising from the recommendations of this Report.


The work of the Law Reform Commission is part of a wider reform of the law on sexual offences in Ireland. I look forward to the completion of the review of the investigation and prosecution of sexual offences currently being chaired by Tom O’Malley BL. This review is at an advanced stage and is expected to be completed  by the end of the year.”