Page last updated at 10:17 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 11:17 UK

Rapist 'get-out clause' concern

Margaret Curran
Ms Curran said the legislation was well-intentioned, but a change was needed

A move to dump a "get-out clause for rapists" in Scotland has been made by a Labour MSP.

Margaret Curran said draft legislation to redefine rape law could allow claims that victims gave prior consent, before becoming incapable through drink.

Legislation going through parliament would create a new definition of consent as "free agreement".

Ms Curran has now tabled an amendment to the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill, currently going through parliament.

The legislation would also set out a list of circumstances where there can be no free agreement - including victims deemed to be incapable through alcohol.

Ms Curran, MSP for Glasgow Baillieston, said: "The Scottish Government's legislation is well-intentioned but we need to end the get-out clause for rapists.

"The law must provide protection to women who are targeted by predatory men even when they are very drunk."

The call has been backed by the group Rape Crisis Scotland, which argue that some men deliberately target very drunk women.

The Scottish Government is considering the suggestion - saying it was keen to look at any measure which may strengthen the legislation.

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