Consent and 'Relationship Expectations' - Christina v R (2017)

NZSC 145

  • Andrea Ewing


In Christian v R the Supreme Court was asked to decide the significance of a complainant’s silence and inactivity during (allegedly non-consensual) sex.
In the Supreme Court’s view, the answer to this question turns in part on whether there is a prior sexual relationship between the parties. Even where the complainant’s conduct does not convey that she wants intercourse, a reasonable defendant can conclude from the circumstances of the sexual encounter – notably ‘relationship expectations’ developed over time – that she is consenting.

Case Notes