Sado Masochism and Consent to Harm:
Are the Courts under undue pressure to overturn R V Brown ?
Those who commit sado-masochistic acts that lead to physical injury are liable under the principle established in Rv Brown  2 All ER 75. In this case a group of men (‘the appellants’) were convicted under sections 47 and 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 even though none of the participants complained to the police and the acts were consensual, conducted in private and did not cause permanent injury. The argument of those who claim it should exonerate the participants is that it is a consensual activity comparable to contact sports such as boxing where the injuries are deemed to be voluntarily inflicted. However, this meets with the objection it is a violent act that is a result of an immoral activity which, although, private can lead to harm to society because of an individual or groups self gratifying conduct. This paper sets out the proposition for the retention of liability for sado-masochism that leads to self-caused injury and continuation of its definition as criminal, regardless of the consent of the parties in order to preserve the framework of society that prioritises morals as a matter of public policy and for the courts to act as its guardian.