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Consent and Policy

R v Brown and Others (1993)

[Consent in ABH not relevant]
Sado-masochistic homosexuals. Courts will interfere, and liability did occur, but not if it were a lawful act. Public policy, fear of proselytisation, corruption, cult of violence and potential for serious harm.  See The Spanner Trust for information about promoting sado-masochistic rights.


This case contrasts with R v Wilson where a husband branded his wife's buttocks, at her request.


R v Donavan  (1934)

[Public policy in assault]

Caning willing girl = assault.

Limited consent for battery that causes injury

Boxing is an odd example, there is no legal argument that can actually justify in law, as a matter of POLICY it is tolerated provided it does not exceed the ‘rules of the sport’, for example bare knuckle fights.


Players do not consent to assaults that are not all part of the game, as with biting during rugby or boxing.

R v Johnson (1986)

R v Lloyd [1989].

Other sports

Most other sports do not have as their primary intention to cause injury, and therefore bumps and bruises ‘on the field of sport’ are an acceptable part of the game.


They are 'manly diversions, they intend to give strength, skill and activity, and may fit people for defence, public as well as personal, in time of need' Foster’s Crown Law, (1792)

R v Billinghurst [1978].


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