Has France done the right thing by setting the legal age of sexual consent as 15?

Recently, the French government has declared the minimum age for sexual consent as 15. Implementation of this law was a result of uproar in the society regarding the judgment of French courts in two rape cases where both the girls were of age 11 years while the men were of 28 and 30yrs of age. This made French government think of lowering the bar on age for sexual consent.

Initially, France Justice minister Nicole Belloubet said that the age of 13 was a limit that is worth considering for the upcoming legislation. But after many protests, and prolonged fighting, the French government has finalized it at as 15years of age considering the advice from a panel of doctors and legal experts.

The Incident

In a case in November, when a 30-year-old man raped an 11yr old girl, it was not proved that the victim was strained or threatened. In this case, the disproval of force in a sexual act failed to make it a rape case. In a similar case, in which a 28-year old man raped an 11yr old girl, it was degraded into a “sexual relationship with minor” case. Because of not having a bar on age, for which a person is allowed to have sexual intercourse, criminalization of such cases is becoming difficult.

Hence France had to make a legal age of sexual consent. According to this law, sexual activity with children under 15 years of age is criminalized, but prosecutors must prove that sexual act was forced.

This new age limit for sexual intercourse might reduce sexual violence in France. The law for setting the legal age of sexual consent as 15, will be approved in the coming weeks.

Updated on: 30-Jul-2019


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started