UK politician to use Guernsey's Sexual Offences Law as example for national change

Labour MP for Canterbury Rosie Duffield hopes to use Guernsey's Sexual Offences Law to make legal changes nationally.

Last year, deputies in Guernsey voted overwhelming to amend the Sexual Offences Law.

It is now easier for victims of sexual abuse to prove they could not have given consent at the time - for example, if they were intoxicated.

Both the England and Wales Sexual Offences Act 2003 and Scotland's Sexual Offences Act 2009 remain unchanged.

The change in Guernsey was welcomed locally by victim support charities. The island's former Chief Minister led the amendment last year.

Deputy St Pier is "pleased" to hear MP Rosie Duffield has analysed Guernsey's change in law and is now looking to do the same in the UK.

Deputy St Pier admits that, while it is a "subtle" change, it goes beyond the questions of legal presumption. Credit: ITV Channel TV

MP Rosie Duffield say she is "impressed" with Guernsey's forward thinking.

In 2019, Rosie Duffield spoke openly in the House of Commons about her own experience of domestic violence. Credit: ITV Channel TV

She is now looking to submit an amendment to the Domestic Violence Bill which is currently bouncing between the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The change would mean that if victims were intoxicated at the time, they would no longer have to prove in court that they did not give consent.

Instead, the burden of responsibility lies on the defendant to provide evidence that consent was given.

Rosie Duffield hopes political momentum will now build, and what might appear to be a small change in Guernsey, could have a greater impact for victims of sexual abuse in the UK.