December 9th, 2003

mini me + poo

Hello dear lawyers

I've spent the afternoon looking through Halsbury's Statutes of England and Wales (at £3,300 a set, I can understand why it proved somewhat difficult to find a library with a copy!) and Halsbury's Laws of England (£4,000, ditto) checking on the amendments made by the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Why not do it online? Because the HMSO's website only has the laws passed since 1988 and shows no sign of including its back catalogue, grrrr.

So if you want to read the Treason Act 1351 (which seems to be the oldest act still in force - don't "compass or imagine" the death of the King, his wife, his eldest son and heir, or violate the King's wife, his eldest daughter still unmarried - it'd be fascinating to know if anyone committed treason with Princess Anne - or the wife of his eldest son and heir...) or anything else passed between then and 1987, you need to find a paper copy.

Except that Halsbury doesn't seem to have the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885. This is the one that increased the age of consent to 16... and also criminalised male homosexual behaviour in section 11 - the law Oscar Wilde was 'done' for.

That's going to be repealed, along with section 2, subsections (2) to (4).

But what do they actually say?

Update: I can find s11 -

Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or is a party to the commission of, or procures, or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency shall be guilty of misdemeanour, and being convicted shall be liable at the discretion of the Court to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labour.

.. but not the other bits.
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