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2008 | Penal Code Act of South Sudan

The rights to life and physical integrity are protected by South Sudan’s criminal law in several provision of the 2008 Penal Code Act. The Act prohibits murder (Art. 206-212), bodily injury and intimidation (chapter XVII), offences related to rape and other sexual offences (Chapter XVIII), and kidnapping, abduction and violations of personal liberty (chapter XX), among others.

 The Act contains a separate Article which criminalises the kidnapping or abducting of a women to compel her to marry (Art. 273). Articles 216-222 prohibit different kinds of violence that may cause a miscarriage or hurt an unborn child. Other notable Articles are Article 259, which prohibits female genital mutilation, Articles 261 and 262 which criminalises the deliberate infection of another person with a sexually transmitted disease or HIV/AIDS, Article 263 providing that if the accused is infected with HIV/AIDS, this may act as an aggravating factor for the purpose of sentencing for certain offences and Article 266 prohibiting adultery.

 Looking more closely at Article 247, which prohibits rape, we see that rape is defined as sexual intercourse or carnal intercourse. Also, according to paragraph 3 marital rape is not defined as rape. Paragraph 2 of the same Article states that consent given by a person below the age of 18 years shall not be deemed to be consent.