Supreme Court allows Scottish sexual offences legislation appeal


In AB v HM’s Advocate [2017] UKSC 25 the Supreme Court today allowed an appeal challenging the lawfulness of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, s 39(2)(a)(i). This provision prevents a defendant who is charged with certain sexual offences from relying on the defence of reasonable mistaken belief as to age if the defendant has previously been charged with a “relevant sexual offence”. The Supreme Court unanimously held that the provision disproportionately interfered with ECHR, art 8 rights.

Aidan O’Neill QC and Edward Craven represented the appellant in the Supreme Court.