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Explanatory Memorandum to Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008

Article 5: Rape

7.30.Article 5 makes it an offence for a person (A) intentionally to penetrate with his penis the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) without that person's consent if A does not reasonably believe that B consents. Paragraph (2) provides that whether a belief in consent is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents. This and the offence in Article 12 are the only offences that can only be committed by a male, because they relate to penile penetration. Paragraph (3) provides that Articles 9 and 10 apply to this offence. Articles 9 and 10 deal with evidential and conclusive presumptions about consent. The Article also abolishes the common law offence of rape.

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