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Would changing consent laws ‘kill the art of seduction’?

State consent laws are being reviewed following the acquittal of an accused rapist after a five-year court battle.

The son of a nightclub boss was jailed for raping an 18-year-old in a Kings Cross alleyway, but then acquitted after it was found he wasn’t aware she didn’t consent to sex.

Prominent criminal barrister Peter Lavac tells Ben Fordham the state needs to stay out of it.

“This is another example of the state trying to stick their nose into people’s bedrooms where it doesn’t belong.

“Judge Robyn Tupman, when she acquitted Luke Lazarus, she did the right thing.”

Rape & Domestic Violence Services Executive Karen Willis takes a different point of view.

She agrees with Minister for the Protection Against Sexual Assault Pru Goward who says, if it’s not an enthusiastic yes, it’s a no.

“It’s basic human right to say whether or not our bodies are going to be engaged in sexual intimacy and consent is critical to that.”

Mr Lavac says the need for an “enthusiastic yes” would “interfere with human nature”.

“Is she supposed to get up on the table and announce to the entire bar ‘I enthusiastically consent to having sex with this gentleman later on’? It’s completely absurd.

“It would kill completely the art of seduction, the art of courtship, the art of mating.”

Ms Willis responds by stating, “enthusiastically yes isn’t necessary a verbal yes”.

Listen to the fiery debate below

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