Consent and Sexual Assault in Criminal v. Tort Law

From start to finish, criminal and tort cases differ in many ways, including how a case is initiated, in which court it is heard and decided, standards of proof, and the consequence if the defendant is found liable (punishment if defendant is convicted of a crime; payment of money damages if defendant is liable for a tort). Some cases [or fact patterns] qualify as both crimes and torts. These differences are especially evident in sexual assault claims where a single legal term, such as “consent,” may be defined quite differently, depending on the type of legal claim asserted.

In this episode of Reasonably Speaking, Erin Murphy (NYU Law) and Ken Simons (UC Irvine Law) explore the difference between criminal law and tort law in the United States and then focus on how “consent” is, and should be, defined in sexual assault allegations.

The views and opinions expressed on Reasonably Speaking are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of The American Law Institute or the speakers’ organizations. The content presented in this broadcast is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Please be advised that episodes of Reasonably Speaking explore complex and often sensitive legal topics and may contain mature content.

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Published: 2020


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