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Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008

The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 provides a new legislative framework for sexual offences in Northern Ireland. The corresponding legislation in England and Wales and in Scotland are the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009.



The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 defines several sexual offenses, including rape.


The statutory offense of rape is created by article 5 of the Order. The common law offence of rape was abolished by article 5(6).[1]

Rape is defined as follows:

(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,
(b) B does not consent to the penetration, and
(c) A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

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