The Criminal Justice System and Rape: an Argument for the Modification of the Irrebutable Presumption Under Section 30 of the Nigeria Criminal Code


The child or young person is never held responsible for his wrongs. This concept of family or group responsibility is posited on the notion that until a person is an adult which is the age of responsibility, the family to which he belongs is legally responsible for his actions.[1] In light of this the criminal law is drafted such that a 12 year old being is incapable of rape. The law also makes this an irrebuttable presumption. For the reasons outlined in this work; the writers opine this to be an unrealistic approach in the way that, the physical development of a male child does not, in reality preempt him from having carnal knowledge. The writers also aver that the cognitive factor of a minor’s capability to understand his offence should be given paramount consideration. It is on this basis; it is submitted in this work that, to reduce the occurrence of the offence of rape, a strict deterrent is to be placed on the crime for all offenders and so while a child may not be convicted for the offence of rape, such a child may be convicted of offences which have a lesser punishment than the offence of rape[2] and therefore law makers should consider appropriate amendment for the provision of law.

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