Related Information

Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act

The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act came into force on 1 December 2010. A summary of the main provisions of the Act is available. Further information can be found in the Circular and accompanying Guidance.

The Act reforms the current law on sexual offences and creates a range of new statutory offences. It criminalises a range of sexual conduct which takes place without consent. The Act defines consent as "free agreement" which may be withdrawn at any time.

The legislation is based on the recommendations and draft Bill contained in the Scottish Law Commission's Report on Rape and other Sexual Offences (report 209) which was published in December 2007 and the outcome of the Scottish Government's consultation on the Report's findings, which took place between December 2007 and March 2008.