CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, September 20, 2021

"European organizations urge Poland to change definition of rape and stop restricting press freedom"

From Jurist:

Several European organizations on Thursday called upon Poland to make changes to the legal definition of rape and condemned attacks on media and the free press.

The Council of Europe praised recent reforms allowing law enforcement to temporarily evict domestic abusers, but said that Poland should “align” its definition of rape with the requirements of the Istanbul Convention, urging the nation to “move away from a force-based definition to one covering all non-consensual sexual acts.” Of seventeen monitored countries, only Belgium, Malta, and Sweden have legal definitions that penalize rape based solely on non-consent. The Council noted that “Without a consent-based definition of rape in criminal law, prosecutors will ‘invariably decide’ against seeking an indictment in cases where the sexual act is undisputed, but consent is not.”

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