Centre for Criminal Law


Deception, Consent to Sex and R v Lawrance (Part 1)

3 August 2020

A blog by Dr Mark Dsouza, Deputy Director, UCL Centre for Criminal Law

Mark DSouza

In Part 1 of this post, I describe and analyse the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) (“CACD”) in R v Lawrance [2020] EWCA Crim 971, which addressed the effect of deception on consent to sexual activity. I argue that in its judgment, the CACD took certain observations made in a previous case called R (Monica) v DPP out of context, and relied heavily on them. The CACD’s ruling is therefore flawed, and to be regretted.

 *This post is written with a lay and student audience in mind. My thanks to David Ormerod for his comments/suggestions. Any errors that remain are mine.*