Judge Claims A Man Having Sex With His Wife Is ‘A Fundamental Right’

by : Emily Brown on : 03 Apr 2019 17:02
Judge says it's a man's 'fundamental right' to have sex with his wifeJudge says it's a man's 'fundamental right' to have sex with his wifePA/The Law Society Gazette

A judge is facing huge backlash after claiming it’s a ‘fundamental right’ for a man to have sex with his wife. 


Despite the fact we left the ‘a man’s wife is their property’ view on life behind decades ago, the 57-year-old British judge apparently still believes husbands should be able to control their sex life and have it whenever they want, whether the woman is on board or not.

The Hon. Mr Justice Hayden, a judge of the High Court of England, made the ridiculous comments in a preliminary court hearing on Monday (April 1), where he was asked to consider imposing a court order which would prevent a man from having sex with his wife, who has learning difficulties.

According to the Guardian, the social service officials who have responsibility for the woman’s care have said there is evidence her mental health has reached a stage where she no longer has the capacity to make decisions about whether she wants to have sex, meaning she cannot freely give her consent.


As a result, the bosses had Hayden consider the situation at the Court of Protection. Lawyers suggested the judge might have to issue the court order to ensure the woman is not raped.

The Court of Protection looks at issues involving people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions.

Court of ProtectionCourt of ProtectionPA Images

Hayden was told the man had offered to give an undertaking not to have sex with his wife of 20 years, but still the judge said he wanted to hear all sides, and expressed his controversial opinion as he mentioned the man’s ‘right’ to have sex.

Not only did he say it was a fundamental right, but he genuinely explained he couldn’t think of a more obviously fundamental human right.

How about the wife’s human right to have control over her own body?

The 57-year-old said:


I cannot think of any more obviously fundamental human right than the right of a man to have sex with his wife – and the right of the state to monitor that.

I think he is entitled to have it properly argued.

Hayden added how an order banning the husband from having sex with his wife would be difficult to police, and said the husband might be put in a situation where he could face prison if he breached the order or undertaking not to have sex with his partner.

Thangam Debbonaire, a Labour MP for Bristol West, tweeted her disapproval of the comments.

She wrote:

This legitimises misogyny and woman-hatred. A judge stating “I cannot think of any more obviously fundamental human right than the right of a man to have sex with his wife”. No man in the UK has such a legal right to insist on sex. No consent = rape.

The individual case sounds complex and needs careful thought. But no judge should give out this sort of misogynist and inaccurate message. What it says about his values is awful – more important human right than right to bodily integrity? Really?

The judge said he wanted to examine the evidence in detail and hear arguments from solicitors representing the woman, the man, and the council involved before making any final decisions.

A full hearing is expected in the coming months.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, Consent, Court, Court of Protection, High Court of England, Justice Hayden, Law


The Guardian and 1 other
  1. The Guardian

    English judge says man having sex with wife is 'fundamental human right'

  2. Thangam Debbonaire