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Constitutional Court Ruling: Sex Between Teens No Longer a Crime

- Featured article by LAWYERS-ONLINE.CO.ZA

The Constitutional Court rules in favour of consensual sex among teens

The Constitutional Court ruled in favour of teen sex last week which effectively means that criminalising such acts is now unconstitutional. This confirmed an earlier High Court decision.

A period of 18 months has been given to amend the relevant provisions.

It was also stated that the names of any children put on the sex offender register under this law would be removed.

Harsh consequences came with having their names on this register - they would not be allowed to adopt or foster children and it would limit their future employment .

The Court held that making such behaviour, which is known to be part of normal adolescent behaviour, a crime, would be doing more harm than good. Anyone who was aware of such behaviour and failed to report it could face five years in prison.

Teens are now able to seek the advice and support from organisations, and adults (teachers and family members) wit hout the fear of being reported.

Further more, the court suspended all investigations, arrests, prosecutions and criminal proceedings relating to the law until it was amended.

Date: 8th October 2013
Legislation: The Constitution, 1996
Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment
Criminal Law Act

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