France passes ‘historic’ law and lowers age of sexual consent to 15 from 18

France passes ‘historic’ law and lowers age of sexual consent to 15 from 18

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France parliament passes historic sex consent law

France has lowered the age of sexual consent from the age of 18 years to 15 years in a historic landmark law.

The parliament voted unanimously to make sex with children below 15 a punishable offence, inviting up to 20 years in jail.

“This is an historic law for our children and our society,” justice minister Éric Dupond-Moretti said in the National Assembly.

The new law comes on the heels of France being rocked by series of sex abuse scandals for years and allegations of incestuous abuse by the French elite. Activists and supporters now believe that the new law will make it easy to prosecute predators and serial offenders.

“No adult aggressor will be able to claim the consent of a minor younger than 15 years old,” Mr Dupond-Moretti said.

Previously, laws allowed consent of a person to be accepted by the court of law irrespective of their age, that included adults having sex with children or making incest relations.

Although sex between adults and under-5s was prohibited but consent of under 15s was allowed, making it extremely difficult for the prosecutors to prove allegations of child rape.

A so-called “Romeo and Juliet” clause was added to the law which still makes it possible for teenagers to consent to sex with a minor, who is above five years of age. The clause will not apply to cases of sexual assault.

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