Dr Sarah Beresford comments upon the recent calls for a lowering of the age of consent. Towards the end of 2013, the topic of changing the age of consent in England and Wales was much in the news. She suggests that much of the debate has focused expressly or impliedly on the age of which men and boys have sexual intercourse (whether gay or straight). Those who argue for a reduction in the age of consent use (whether knowingly or not) a queer theory approach to the issue. Queer theory, originally intended to be a liberating phenomenon, has in fact become synonymous with white gay men. Consequently, the debate on the age of consent has ignored or given insufficient attention to the effect(s) a lowering of the age of consent will have on girls and women.
Dr Sara Fovargue
Towards the end of 2013 it was reported in the media that a declaration had been issued by the Court of Protection on 23 August 2012 (transcript published on 4 December 2013) that it was lawful for a caesarean section to be performed on a 35 year old Italian citizen against her will, and a care order regarding the baby was subsequently obtained by the local authority. Headline writers had a field day; ‘Child taken from womb by social services’, ‘Please don’t take my baby: Agony of mother whose baby was put up for adoption after secret court judge forced her to have a caesarean’, ‘Forced caesarean case: Italian woman “suffering like an animal”’. The judgment and transcript of the caesarean case and the case report concerning the adoption tell a slightly different story (as I discuss below and in Part II), and the reporting of the story has subsequently been questioned by some, including Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division.
Transcript: Re AA  EWHC 4378 (COP)