n South African Journal on Human Rights - 'Child savers' v 'kiddie libbers' : the sexual rights of adolescents

Volume 30, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-7203



On 3 October 2013, the Constitutional Court handed down judgment in the landmark case of the . The case effectively decriminalises sexual conduct between consenting adolescents who are between 12 and 16 years of age. Khampepe J, writing a unanimously endorsed judgment, was at pains to point out from the start that the issue was about whether it is constitutionally permissible for adolescents to be subject to criminal sanctions in order to deter early sexual conduct, and not whether adolescents should or should not engage in sexual conduct or whether Parliament should set a minimum age for such consensual sexual conduct.

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