The method in which the Criminal Justice System defined rape has been notably changed by the Sexual Offences Act 2003, adopted on 1 May 2004. Any sexual offences carried out before 1 May 2004, are prosecuted under the 1956 Act which defined rape as any type of intercourse, without consent ,performed by a man with the victim being either male or female . Also, the intercourse in the 1956 Act is categorized such as non-consensual anal or vaginal intercourse, not including oral sex without consent . (Cps.gov.uk, 2012 )
The term consent was interpreted by the court ,by its common signification. Furthermore, if the perpetrator considered that the victim consented ,even though the statement was unreasonable ,it was jury ‘s responsibility to decide whether the act was consensual or not . (Cps.gov.uk, 2012)
Contemporarily, sexual offences perpetrated after 1 May 2004 are being prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act 2003,which elaborates and extends on the laws surrounding consent and also amends the definition of rape by introducing vaginal or anal penetration by a penis ,as well as penetration mouth of a person.
The word rape is currently defined in the legislation as ‘(1) A person (A) commits an offence if-
he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,
B does not consent to the penetration, and
A does not reasonably believe that B consents ‘ (Legislation.gov.uk, 2018)