Dating law in uk
This will help you to know what's right and wrong so you can make safe choices that you are happy with. There are lots of different laws in the UK that are there to protect you and some which ensure young people take responsibility for their actions. Here are the answers to common questions young people have about the law in relation to young people and sex. The age of criminal responsibility is 10 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland is it 8 years old, but a child must be at least 12 years old to go on trial in the Scottish courts.
Sex, relationships and your rights
The ages of consent vary by jurisdiction across Europe. The ages of consent are currently set between 14 and The vast majority of countries set their ages in the range of 14 to 16; only four countries, Cyprus 17 , Ireland 17 , Turkey 18 and Vatican City 18 , do not fit into this pattern. The laws can also stipulate the specific activities that are permitted or differentially specify the age at which a given sex can participate.
Below is a discussion of the various laws dealing with this subject. The highlighted age is that at which, or above which, an individual can engage in unfettered sexual relations with another who is also at or above that age. In , the self-declared state of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus lifted the ban on sodomy , decriminalizing homosexual sex. The below is a list of all jurisdictions in Europe as listed in List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Europe.
Neither the European Union nor the Council of Europe have suggested any specific age of consent, and there has not been any effort so far to standardize the age across member states. However, most countries in Europe now have binding legal obligations in regard to the sexual abuse of children under The Lanzarote Convention ,  which came into effect in , obligates the countries that ratify it to criminalize certain acts concerning children under 18, such as the involvement of such children in prostitution and pornography.
Other acts that must be criminalized include:. The age of consent is called "the legal age for sexual activities" and must be chosen by states at the age they see fit. No specific age is recommended. As of September , the convention has been ratified by 44 states, while another 3 states have signed but not yet ratified the convention. Since , the age of consent in Albania is 14 , regardless of gender and sexual orientation. The age of consent in Andorra is 14 , as specified by Article of the penal code, which reads: As specified by Articles and , it is illegal - regardless of age - for a person occupying a position of authority or superiority over a person to engage in sexual activity with them, or when it involves the abuse of trust or situation of need or dependence.
The penalty is more severe when the subject is below the age of Sexual intercourse or other sexual acts with a person obviously under 16 , by a person who reached 18 years of age, in the absence of elements of crime envisaged in Articles , or of this Code, is punished with correctional labor for the term of up to 2 years, or with imprisonment for the term of up to 2 years. The general age of consent in Austria is 14 , as specified by Section  of the penal code. Paragraph 4 of Section defines a close-in-age exception of maximum three years.
However , Section b  of the penal code contains an exception to the general age of consent: The offence "initiating sexual contacts with minors under 14 through the use of computer system" is punishable by two years' imprisonment Section a Penal Code. The Austrian Criminal Code previously specified 18 as the age of consent for male homosexual sex in which the other partner was aged 14—18, while no equivalent provision existed for heterosexual sexual conduct; this was Section of the Criminal Code.
In November , an amendment was put before the Austrian Parliament to remove Section ; but the vote ended in a draw, and the amendment failed to pass. In July , a similar amendment was put forward; it was voted down by the conservative majority. Section came into force when homosexuality between males became legal in The Section was later repealed on 14 August Sexual intercourse with the person below the age of 16 years , as well as the same offences linked with satisfaction of sexual passion in perverted forms shall be punished by imprisonment up to 3 years.
The age of consent in Belarus is 16 , as specified by Articles and , which read: The Belgian Criminal Code previously specified an age of consent of 18 for homosexual sex. This provision - Article bis - was added in and repealed in Sexual activity with children younger than 14 is illegal under Article , which prohibits sexual acts with a "child", and a "child" is defined in Article 2 8 as a person under However , Article mentions a "juvenile" who is defined in Article 2 9 as a person under 18 , although it is not clear if this article refers only to sexual acts performed in view of a minor under 18 or if it can be used also to punish sexual acts performed with the minor: The age of consent in Bulgaria is 14 , as specified by Articles and 1.
However, Article 2 has a provision for those who are over 14 and do " not understand the characteristics or the importance of the act. The age of consent for all sexual conduct in Croatia under the new Criminal Code in force since 1 January is 15 , regardless of sexual orientation or gender, regulated by Article Before the year , the legal age of consent in Croatia was Age of consent was equalised in The age of consent for all sexual conduct in Cyprus under the Criminal Code is 17 , regardless of sexual orientation or gender.
Until , homosexual acts between men were entirely forbidden under Section In , the Court held that the prohibition of homosexual acts was a violation of Article 8. In January , the Cypriot Government introduced a Bill in the Cypriot Parliament that would have abolished the ban. The European Commission repeated its warning that Cyprus must follow the Court's ruling. In May , again a government measure to repeal the ban failed because of the strength of the opposition.
In April , the Council of Europe set a deadline for compliance of 29 May and on 21 May , the House of Representatives voted 36 to 8 in favour legalising homosexual acts. However it was set at 18 while heterosexual acts remained at In , under pressure from the EU  the parliament finally ended the disparate provisions and changed the age of consent to 17 for both heterosexual and homosexual acts, under the revised Criminal Code.
For both of these Sovereign Base Areas British military enclaves on the island of Cyprus, the age of consent is The age of consent in the Czech Republic is The Austrian Penal Code was not replaced in Czechoslovakia before Both changes were criticized. Until , homosexual sexual intercourse was illegal in Czechoslovakia. Between adults, payment receipt or provision and public nuisance were reasons for criminalization. The age of consent in the Kingdom of Denmark is 15  as specified by Section In determining the penalty, it shall be an aggravating circumstance if the perpetrator has gained intercourse by exploiting his physical or mental superiority.
Section , part 1, reads: The laws in the Faroe Islands and Greenland are equivalent although regulated in separate penal codes for these autonomous countries. Male homosexual acts were legalised in Denmark lesbianism was never illegal with an age of consent set at 18, after a major reform of the Penal Code in ; At the same time, the age of consent for heterosexual acts was raised from 12 to In , the age of consent was harmonized at 15 for all acts [ citation needed ].
Sex with a child under the age of 12 results in double punishment, and sex with a minor under 18 is illegal for a person in charge of this child. Until , "acts against nature" [anal intercourse] were punishable with the stakes. However, until the late 18th century the rule was never used, and, when it came into rule, the convicts were always pardoned to 7 years in jail. In , Denmark became the first country to legalise pictorial pornography ,  but this did not affect laws related to the age of people participating in its production.
Consequently, the legal age of consent 15 equaled the limit for pornography produced within the country, but material produced in other countries where the Danish consent law does not apply was not covered and therefore legal. The age of consent in Estonia is 14 , as specified by Section sexual intercourse with a child , which reads: Section defines rape as " Sexual intercourse with a person against his or her will by using force or taking advantage of a situation in which the person is not capable of initiating resistance or comprehending the situation "; and Section reads:.
When regaining independence from USSR in , the age of consent for male homosexual intercourse was set at 16, whereas the age for heterosexual intercourse was The age of consent was harmonized in when the law was amended, specifying an age of 14 for sexual intercourse. The age of consent in Finland is 16 , as specified by Section 6 1 Sexual abuse of a child , which reads: The sexual act may not be punishable if "there is no great difference in the ages or the mental and physical maturity of the persons involved".
The age is 18 when in connection with a person who has some formal power over the young person, like a school teacher. Until , homosexual acts were prohibited. After decriminalisation, the age of consent was set to 18 for homosexual acts and 16 for heterosexual acts. The age of consent is therefore The age of consent in France is 15 , as specified by Article of the Penal Code, which reads: Article prohibits the "organisation by an adult of meetings involving indecent exposure or sexual relations knowing that minors are present or participating".
Minors refers to under 18s; the text of the article can be subject to interpretation. Article prohibits the "soliciting of a minor under the age of fifteen, or a person pretending to be such minor, for sexual purposes through the use of a computer system". Male homosexual acts were illegal until , when the ancient sodomy laws were dropped from the Criminal Code of that year. This continued to be the case under the Napoleonic Code of The age of consent was set at 11 in and at 13 in In , the age of consent for homosexual acts was set at 21, while for heterosexual acts it was still The latter was increased to 15 in In , the age for homosexual acts was lowered to In , it was lowered to 15, in line with that for heterosexual acts.
The age of consent in Germany is 14 , as long as a person over the age of 21 does not exploit a to year-old person's lack of capacity for sexual self-determination, in which case a conviction of an individual over the age of 21 requires a complaint from the younger individual; being over 21 and engaging in sexual relations with a minor of that age does not constitute an offense by itself. Otherwise the age of consent is 16, although provisions protecting minors against abuse apply until the age of 18 under Section 1: This is specified by Sections Sexual abuse of children and Sexual abuse of youths of the Penal Code, which read:.
The current rules for age of consent in Germany were set following a post-reunification penal law reform in The ages of 14 and 16 had been relevant since the Criminal Code for the German Empire came into force in In West Germany the latter rule was kept, with minor changes in Unblemishedness was no longer required, and the court could refrain from punishment if the offender was under 21 years of age. The German Democratic Republic , by contrast, created a new socialist criminal code in Female homosexuality was not prosecuted.
In West Germany, male homosexuality was legalized in The age of consent was set to 21 years and reduced to 18 years in Only men of 18 or older could be offenders and courts could refrain from punishment if the offender was not yet
Last updated April This factsheet summarises some of the key points of UK law relating to sexual behaviour. It does not constitute legal advice. The age of consent for having sex in the UK is 16 so, in the eyes of the law, you shouldn't be having children under However, the law recognises that young.
Jump to content. This factsheet summarises some of the key points of UK law relating to sexual behaviour. It does not constitute legal advice. The age of consent to any form of sexual activity is 16 for both men and women. The age of consent is the same regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of a person and whether the sexual activity is between people of the same or different gender.
The ages of consent vary by jurisdiction across Europe. The ages of consent are currently set between 14 and
In this section you can find out more about your rights and responsibilities when it comes to relationships and sex. There are slightly different laws about getting married in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Scotland. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland you can get married at 16 years old if you have your parent's permission.
Sex, the law and you
Ages of consent in Europe
You can be raped by your partner. Rape and sexual assault can occur within relationships. If this situation rings bells for you, then maybe you are experiencing domestic abuse. The Legal Age of Consent The law says that everyone must be aged 16 before they can have sex. You are responsible for your behaviour and would be committing an offence if you have sex with someone aged under 16, even if you met them in a bar or club for overs. Sexual activity is illegal under any circumstances for under year olds. Those aged 13 and under cannot give consent. Doing anything sexual with someone under 13 is automatically an offence, whatever the young person says. The law recognises that young people aged 13 to 16 might be physically able to have sex but are not allowed to. This is because the law judges that young people cannot make informed decisions about sex, both physically and emotionally, even if they are physically able to have sex.
The law on sex
.What Is The Age Of Consent?