Statutory rape

The term statutory rape is not used in the legislation but it is the term that is commonly used for unlawful sexual contact with a person aged under 17 years. Until June 2006, charges for this offence were brought under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 1935. In the case of CC v Ireland, the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Supreme Court held that Section 1 of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 1935 Act was unconstitutional.

The effect of the Supreme Court decision is that Section 1 of the 1935 Act is no longer a part of the Act. The rest of the Act was not affected. A new Act, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2006  was passed to replace the unconstitutional provisions in the 1935 Act. It also repealed and replaced Section 2 of the 1935 Act. The original 1935 Act has now been amended many times.

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