Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 July 1978

Volume 3 Issue 1

The Royal Commission on Human Relations

Richard Chisholm

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Richard Chisholm

The Report of the Royal Commission on Human Relationships was not only about sex, and not only about law; but many of its more controversial recommendations concerned the role of the criminal law in connection with sexual behaviour. Though some of the ideas are new, much of the Report brought together in a lucid and available form arguments that serious scholars have been urging for years. The reaction of some members of the community — especially Prime Ministers and bishops — nevertheless shows how far some community leaders are from a thoughtful, or even nonhysterical, appreciation of the issues. Ironically, their reactions demonstrate how much we needed the report.

In this column, I will summarise the Commissioners’ recommendations about rape and sexual offences against young people! Later, probably next time, I will look at the areas of abortion, incest, and perhaps the legal context of family planning.

This PDF has been produced for your convenience. Always refer to the live site for the Version of Record.