• employed when the D has the AR and MR for the offence
  • D believes the V's role in the act and their MR prevents there from being a crime

Burdern of Proof = lies with prosecution      DEFENCE need to raise the defence       Effective defence = full acquittal

Basic Rule for Consent = cannot onsent to anything above a battery unless it is one of legally recognised exceptions e.g horseplay (Brown)

Assisted suicide cannot be held as consent as it is illegal in the UK (Pretty v DPP)

Consent must be real and therefore the V must have full capictiy to consent which generaly means an adult who is able to understand the consequences of the actions (Burrell v Harmer and Gillick v West Norfolk AHA)

Collins & Willock: "generally speaking consent is only a defence to a battery; and most of the physical contacts of ordinary life are not actionable because they are impliedly consented to" - Lord Goff

V has to understand real nature of the act. 'Informed' is usually used here nd the V must know the nature and quality of the act they are consenting to (Tabassum)

V's cosent is good unless unless he does not know BOTH the nature and quality of the act (Olugbola and Dica) - transmitting diseases


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Mistake as to Vs consent may result in the need of te defence, unless intoxicated. Consent obtained through duress = no defence

General Limitations on the Defence

Courts decided people could only consent to assault and battery. However there are some legally recognised exceptions:

  • contact games and sports
  • tattooing/branding/piercing
  • surgery
  • horseplay
  • practical jokes

Attorney General Reference (No6 1980) - not in the public interest that people should try to cause each other ABH for no good reason - Judge states in this case


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Sports and Consent

  • most injuries consented to, the exception to this is bare knuckle fighting, other sports are divided up into 'off ball' and 'on ball' incidents

Off Ball - Billinghurst: force used in course of play and force used outside course of play was distinguished and the D had no limited use of force, only in the rules of play an so D had no defence

On Ball - Moore: "no rules or practice of any game whatever can make lawful that which is unlawful by the law of the land". Meaning D can be liable for an offence despite V consetning to hari within the rules of game

On Ball - Barnes: "criminal proceedings should be saved sufficiently grave and not istictive actions, misjudgements or errors"

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