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1. Incest by Man

It is an offence contrary to section 47 of the Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 200) for a man to have sexual intercourse with a woman who is to his knowledge his granddaughter, daughter, sister or mother. The consent of the Secretary of Justice is required for a prosecution for this offence.


The maximum penalties for such an offence are:

a) life imprisonment for the substantive offence where the girl is under 13 years of age;
b) 20 years’ imprisonment where the girl is between 13 years of age and under 16 years of age;
c) 14 years’ imprisonment in all other cases.


An attempt to commit incest carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment. The same sentence applies where a man incites a girl aged under 16 years of age and whom he knows to be granddaughter, daughter or sister to have sexual intercourse with him.


Sexual intercourse is complete upon the proof of penetration. Ejaculation is not required.


The words “granddaughter”, “daughter”, “sister” and “mother” are to be given their ordinary meaning. “Sister” includes “half-sister”. This is so whether the relationship between the Defendant and the person with whom the offence is committed is or is not traced through lawful wedlock. Section 49 of the Crimes Ordinance states that the word “man” includes “boy” and the word “woman” includes “girl”.


It is irrelevant that the sexual intercourse was with the consent of the woman. The woman’s willingness may be relevant to sentence but not to criminal liability.


The prosecution must prove that the defendant knew the female was his granddaughter, daughter, sister or mother at the time of the sexual intercourse. It is a defence if the Defendant is honestly mistaken about the identity of the woman with whom he had sexual intercourse.