Jacques Barillon, Paul Bensussan

A Criminal Desire Publication date : February 1, 2004

Will there be a war between the genders? In France, as elsewhere in Europe, legislation concerning sex crimes has been changing, as a result of pressure exercised by feminist groups and victims’ associations. Unfortunately, in the process, some of the fundamental principles of justice have been left by the wayside — despite the noble motives that inform these changes. Various types of sexual behaviour that are still tolerated today (including traditional "courtship" behaviour) are now being criminalised. Intention has become an offence, as was recently illustrated when the definition of sexual harassment in the workplace was extended in a disturbing manner — to a total absence of reaction. The views presented here, though controversial, are carefully qualified. Jacques Barillon and Paul Bensussan show, on a European scale, the ravages caused by an overly psychological approach to the law. They resolutely denounce the extremes and excesses of the new moral and sexual order that is now being proposed for the general good. They appeal to the professional courage of all the participants, as well as to each reader’s critical sense. They believe that a refusal to rise up against the current trend will be tantamount to accepting that, in future, each one of us will be open to accusations without any possibility of being defended. It will mean tolerating that the judicial system, primarily concerned with the victims’ well-being, will renounce enforcing the Law, with the approval of psychiatrists and psychologists. This is an indispensable and disturbing book that should help to awaken our anaesthetised critical sense.

Jacques Barillon is an internationally renowned lawyer specialising in criminal law. He has worked in many European countries, notably in cases of sexual violence. He is the author of many books, including Robe noire, Epris de Justice and Comment affronter la justice sans argent.

Paul Bensussan, a psychiatrist, sexologist and legal expert, specialises in sex crimes. His research into false allegations of sexual abuse during divorce cases caused a considerable stir in the field of medical-legal psychiatry. He is most notably the author of Inceste, le piège du soupçon and, more recently, of La Dictature de l’émotion.