Cambridgeshire

Cambridge University law exam question 'horrific'

A Cambridge University law exam contained a graphic description of oral sex, male rape and torture, it has emerged.

The question was part of an exam sat by more than 200 undergraduates at the university's Faculty of Law.

Afterwards, one student described it on a social networking site as "horrific" and "beyond acceptable".

The university said the exam intended to "test students' understanding" of "different aspects" of law.

'Stressful atmosphere'

The question in the three-hour exam at the university's Faculty of Law began: "Sandra is President of The Vizards, a College drinking society. She is organising the initiation of new members.

"After a great deal of alcohol has been drunk, the members of the society form a circle around Billy, Gilbert and Richard who are to be initiated."

The question then described three "sexual" incidents involving the men, who all are blindfolded.

The incidents include scenarios involving oral sex, male rape and torture.

The exam students were asked to outline any offences which may have been committed.

Sebastian Salek, a final-year law student, highlighted the question on his blog.

He said: "The reaction in the exam room was pretty non-existent because of the stressful atmosphere, but outside I think there was a mixture of feelings.

"Some found it funny that a drinking society initiation was mentioned in a question, as the university tends to turn a blind eye to activities like that. Others were quite shocked."

A University of Cambridge spokesman said: "In the Part One Criminal Law examination paper set by the University of Cambridge Law Faculty, hypothetical situations are presented in order to test students' understanding of different aspects of criminal law."

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