The issue of consent is often raised in a range of cases, such as; larceny, assault and sexual assault. Consent it not a legal defence, but rather a requirement of proof.

  • Consent in cases of larceny: If an owner of the property gave you permission to take the property, then you cannot be found guilty of larceny. The owner does not have to explicitly say they do not consent to the item being taken. If you find an item and decide to keep it, you may be found guilty of larceny.
  • Consent in cases of assault: if the alleged victim gives you permission to assault them, for example in sport (players consent to rules of the sport, e.g.: tackling), surgery or medical treatment (only with limits of what the patient has consented to), then you cannot be found guilty of assault.
  • Consent in cases of sexual assault: It is for the crown to prove that the complainant did not give you permission to touch them or have sexual intercourse with them. The issue of consent will be determined based on your state of mind at the relevant time, whether you honestly believed that consent had been given. You can be found guilty of recklessness, if you knew that there was a possibility the complainant did not give you consent, but you continued anyway. Defence of consent is not available to sexual cases involving children (persons under the age of 16), or in cases where the complainant was intoxicated or asleep and they could not give consent.