Marital Rape Immunity In Australia

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The first settlement of colonies in Australia received the English common law, which was in turn adopted as Australian common law. The adopted laws included the 18th century proposition that ‘marital rape immunity’ prevented a man from being convicted of the rape of his wife, because she was presumed to have given general consent to sexual intercourse with him upon marriage. This suggestion of ‘marital rape immunity’ may be traced to ‘Sir Matthew Hale's The History of the Pleas of the Crown’. In the early common law, the offence of rape did not extend to the matrimonial relationship: Thus, a husband could never be charged or convicted of raping his wife. Hale's view of the common law was accepted and followed, in what is now considered as a
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