In Australia, there is an interesting case involving Sharia. Increasingly, Muslims in Western nations are turning to Sharia justice as opposed to conventional courts to address family and personal problems. In the case of Muslim convert Christian Martinez, he sought punishment and forgiveness from his Muslim religious mentor, Wassam Faayad, for drinking and taking drugs. Faayad and his associates proceeded to give him some old-fashioned Sharia justice with an electrical cord. Then Martinez changed his mind but the beating continued. Now four Muslim men are convicted of assault in a Sharia version of “no, means no.”
The four men broke into Martinez’s house to whip him 40 times with an electrical cord in compliance with Islamic law. Martinez had consented to the punishment with three men holding him down while Faayad flogged him. In the midst of the flogging, Martinez cried out for them to stop but they continued.
The judge ruled that Martinez had withdrawn his consent. The judge added that he doubted he had given informed consent to begin with.
That raises the question of whether the beating would be lawful if he had properly consented. Clearly people can consent to be beaten by a dominatrix for pleasure and can engage in sports involving physical harm like boxing and football. However, this is a flogging with an electrical cord that could cause serious injury to the individual. In torts, a party cannot consent to an act that is unlawful or criminal.
All four men have been found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company.