R v C [2009] UKHL 42 – House of Lords case on capacity

R v C [2009] UKHL 42 – House of Lords case on capacity


Alison Foster QC and Fenella Morris of Thirty Nine Essex Street appeared in this important House of Lords case on capacity.

The inability of a person suffering from a mental disorder to refuse to consent to a sexual activity, because of an irrational fear arising from that disorder that prevented the exercise of choice, could amount to a lack of capacity for “any other reason” under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 s.30(2)(a). An inability to refuse included, under s.30(2)(b), an inability to communicate that choice as a result of or for a reason related to a mental disorder.


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