Explicit consent required
In the new proposal sexual consent is identified as the obvious: it must be voluntary. After having a relatively broad definition of rape, Sweden joins Britain and Canada in their tighter laws, where the lack of consent, even without violence, is enough to constitute a crime.

Accordingly, convicting a perpetrator of rape will no longer require that violence or threats were used, or that the victim's particularly vulnerable situation was exploited. Other proposals considered by the Council on Legislation are: increasing the minimum penalty for rape of a child; enhancing the protection provided under criminal law concerning sexual offenses against children where the perpetrator displayed negligence with regard to the child's age; and providing support to victims of sexual offenses at an earlier stage of the process.


The new law could go into effect on July 1, 2018.