'Kissing law' too harsh on teens
The hearing into the so-called kissing law got underway in the Constitutional Court on Thursday.
JOHANNESBURG - Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on Thursday questioned whether there was a need to criminalise sexual conduct between adolescents.
The Teddy Bear Clinic wants parts of the Sexual Offences Act to be changed.
The group says children between 12 and 16, who have consensual sex, should not be prosecuted.
The Sexual Offences Act, which came into effect in 2007, includes a clause which could see teens being criminally charged for kissing and fondling.
Advocate Carina du Plessis, who is representing the clinic in the Constitutional Court, said the act was too harsh on children.
"This is not about cementing sex between teenagers. It is really about what is the correct response to when children are having sex. We are saying criminalisation is not the correct response."
Critics of the bill believe it would make it difficult for teenagers to talk openly to their parents or adults about sex.