Cambridge University law students face graphic ‘sex offence’ question

June 3, 2013
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Reactions of law students at Cambridge University “varied from incredulity to mild amusement” as they sat an exam which asked them to consider the legality of scenarios which included tricking a man into receiving oral sex from another man.

On Saturday morning 200 law students, mostly first years, sat their Criminal Law exam. They were faced with a choice of fictional scenarios, one of which involved a drinking society and dealt with issues of sexual consent and assault.

The question asked:-

Sandra is President of The Vizards, a College drinking society. She is organising the initiation of new members. After a great deal of alcohol has been drunk, the members of the society form a circle around Billy, Gilbert and Richard who are to be initiated.

(i) Sandra blindfolds Billy and tells him that Tracey will suck his penis. Jonny does so.

(ii) Sandra penetrates Gilbert’s anus with a bottle. Although Gilbert appears to resist, and has to be held down by Tracey, he actually enjoys the experience.

(iii) Sandra waxes Richard’s pubic hair and pulls it off with such force that she removes a significant part of his skin. The wound becomes infected, but Richard is so embarrassed that he does not get medical help and dies.

Consider what offences, if any, have been committed.

Sebastian Salek, a third year law student at Clare College who first broke the story on his blog, said law exam questions were often graphic, but this was “on another level from previous years”.

“The criminal law isn’t pretty and law students have to be able to deal with the offences that were raised,” he added.

The Tab student newspaper said reactions “varied from incredulity to mild amusement”.

Twitter user mirandajulietp wrote: “That’s a horrific question – so far beyond acceptable and a total misrepresentation of most socs, actually”.

A Cambridge University spokesperson acknowledged that the test had taken place, and said: “In the Part One Criminal Law examination paper set by the University of Cambridge Law Faculty hypothetical situations are presented in order to test students’ understanding of different aspects of Criminal Law.”

More: Cambridge, cambridge university, England, Law, oral sex, sexual assault

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