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Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009

Part 3 – Mentally Disordered Persons

Section 17 – Capacity to consent

51.This section deals with the capacity of those with a mental disorder to consent to sexual activity. Subsection (1) provides that it relates to the offences in sections 1 to 9, where lack of consent is an essential element.

52.Subsection (2) states that a mentally disordered person is incapable of consenting to conduct (i.e. any conduct which falls within sections 1 to 9) where, by reason of the mental disorder, he or she is unable to do any of the things listed in sub-paragraphs (a) to (c). This test for capacity mirrors the one set out in section 311(4) of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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