Body modification, BDSM and transhumanism should be legalised, a think-tank has suggested.

The Adam Smith Institute said “utterly outdated” assault laws mean consent is not a valid defence against the practices.

It claimed current legislation is applied “inconsistently”, particularly damaging sexual, cultural, and ethnic minorities.

The benefits would include greater personal freedom, protecting people’s expressions and enabling new technology to enhance the human experience, it added.

The pro-liberation think-tank said people should be able to choose if they want body modifications, to perform sexual acts such as bondage, discipline and sadomasochism (BDSM).

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It also wants Britons to be able to become transhuman, by using “technology to evolve beyond our current physical and mental limitations”.

The Offences Against the Person Act is what currently dictates what is illegal in cases of assault.

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Some updates have been made to it since it was drawn up in 1861, such as to allow surgery and tattoos.

But interest in it spiked when a man who self-styled himself as “Dr Evil” was sentenced to more than three years in jail and convicted of grievous bodily harm for performing procedures on paying and consenting customers, including splitting someone’s tongue and removing an ear and nipple.

'Dr. Evil' jailed for GBH
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The self-styled Dr Evil was jailed for more than three years

At the time, the judge admitted the body modification industry was unregulated, a point the Adam Smith Institute has leapt on.

Its new report released says because the law lags behind so much, interpretation of it depends on the “personal prejudice of judges and public opinion”.

Ben Ramanauskas, author of the paper Consent Held Back by Pride and Prejudice, said current law “criminalises people for activities taking place in private and involving consenting adults”.

He added: “The law needs to change. A more liberal approach would uphold individual liberty, reduce harm, and help to ensure that as humanity engages with futuristic technology Britons can benefit.”

The Ministry of Justice has not responded to a request for comment.