Rape or consent? Effects of the new rape legislation on legal reasoning and practice

Research project
Active research
Project size
2 973 314
Project period
2020 - 2023
Project owner
Department of Sociology and Work Science

Short description

The Swedish rape legislation reform in 2017 adopted a requirement of voluntariness (“consent”). This project studies the new legislation and its impact on institutionalised legal culture, by focusing on the emotive-cognitive reasoning and practice of legal professionals. How do legal actors reason about the application of the new law? How does the law affect trial procedures in practice? How do judges operate the new legislation when writing judgements: what perceptions and assessments about voluntariness, gender and sexuality are represented? We follow 16 cases of rape in district court and the appeals court. Legal actors are interviewed, shadowed, and trials are observed. All written judgements under the new law are collected and analysed.