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Adolescent sex ban lifted

The ConCourt found certain sections of the Sexual Offences Act infringed on the rights of children.

The ConCourt found certain sections of the Sexual Offences Act infringed on the rights of children. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The criminalisation of sex between two consenting adolescents is unconstitutional, the Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday.

The top court confirmed an earlier ruling that certain sections of the Sexual Offences Act infringe on the rights of children.

The legislation targeted children between 12 and 16 who engaged in consensual sex.

The case was lodged by the Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children.

It argued that if sexual acts were criminalised, it would discourage adolescents from seeking help with contraception and their sexuality in general.

The unanimous judgment, written by Judge Sisi Khampepe, was published on the court's website.

Khampepe said sections 15 and 16 of the Act were unconstitutional as it violated the right to human dignity.