LABOUCHERE’S AMENDMENT TO THE CRIMINAL. LAW AMENDMENT BILL. THE 1 lth clause of the Criminal Law Amendments Act (48 & 49 Vic. cap. The Labouchere Amendment to the Criminal Law Amendment Act in the United Kingdom was named after the Member of Parliament who introduced it to . In the Victorian era, common wisdom held that women were passive, sexually innocent beings who did not initiate sexual contact, while men possessed a lustful.

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This lack of clarity is partly of the consequence of the retrospective interpretations of those, like the Liberal MP Henry Labouchere, who took it upon themselves to change the law and thereby reinvigorate public morals. Such conduct in public was, and always had been, punishable at common law.

Labouchere Amendment

This was later defined by the courts to include only anal penetration and bestiality. Private homosexual activity, though stigmatised and demonised, was somewhat safer during this time; the prosecution had to prove penetration had actually occurred. He justified his clause by arguing that beforethe law was insufficient to deal with it, because the offence had to be proved by an accessory, and many other offences very much of the same nature were not regarded as crimes at all.

Another series of dossiers, containing material about prosecution of sex between men relating to the late s, s and the s, but compiled between andwere finally closed using the one hundred year rule in The Criminal Law Amendment Act was passed, as we have seen, on the back of mass protest, section 11 of the act which criminalized acts of gross indecency between men was a last minute addition, made by the maverick Member of Parliament Henry Labouchere and introduced and passed in a chamber that was virtually empty.

In in Scotland the maximum penalty was changed to life imprisonment. Manchester and New York, InLabouchere met Wilde in America; Wilde praised him as the “best writer in Europe”, though Labouchere criticized Wilde as an “effeminate phrase maker”. The sentence was relatively light compared to the penalty for anal sodomy, which remained a separate crime.

The legislature perpetuated, throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, an archaic, highly inefficient and ambivalent legal framework for prosecuting sex between males.

Sir, It would be more fitting for Parliament to hold an inquiry into the disgraceful way it changed the law in to create the offence consensual gross indecency between males of which Alan Turing was convicted. All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from July This amendment outlawed male homosexual activity, while ignoring lesbian activity.


Furthermore, the section included a vague clause which allowed for the prosecution of anyone who played “party to the commission of” gross indecency. It also strengthened existing legislation against prostitution and recriminalised amenddment homosexuality.

The specific purpose of the Criminal Law Amendment Act had been effective prosecution of the prepetrators of the widely publicised scandal involving the prostitutionof young girls.

New Haven and London, As a result of the vagueness of the term “gross indecency,” this law allowed juries, judges and lawyers to prosecute virtually any male homosexual behaviour.

However, historians such as Cohen and Weeks emphasise the effects of this legislation, once implemented, on broader perceptions of a homosexual identity. The Criminal Law Amendment Act or “An Act to make further provision for the Protection of Women and Girls, the suppression of brothels, and lavouchere purposes” was the latest in amedment year series of legislation in the United Kingdom beginning with the Offences Against the Person Act that raised the age of consent and delineated the penalties for sexual offences against women and minors.

In comparison, Continental states appeared to tolerate a burgeoning scientific discourse on the matter. What gross indecency actually meant in law was never specified in the legislation, but the courts seemed to have merely added it to existing offences and used it to describe consenting acts which fell short of sodomy.

The Criminal Law Act,raised the age of female consent, while incorporating the notorious Labouchere Amendment altering the existing laws criminalizing buggery.

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Labouchere was concerned labouchee a supposed rise in male homosexual and extra-marital sexual activity. The Offences Against the Person Act formally abolished the death penalty for sodomy and introduced instead wmendment sentences of penal servitude. The first of these changed the requirements of evidence in sodomy trials from penetration and emission in the body to penetration only.

The Criminal Law Amendment Act The Criminal Law Amendment Act or “An Act to make further provision for the Protection of Women and Girls, the suppression of brothels, and other purposes” was the latest in a year series of legislation in the United Kingdom beginning with the Offences Against the Person Act that raised the age of consent and delineated the penalties for sexual offences against women and minors.

Wilde was given the most severe sentence possible under the act, which the judge described as “totally inadequate for a case such as this”. Buggery remained a capital offence in England and Wales until the enactment of the Offences against the Person Act ; the last execution for the crime took place in In it was re-enacted in the Offenses Against the Person Act, a piece of legislation which covered murder, abortion, rape, and sex with girls under twelve.


However, in the eighteen century the judiciay went by laws passed by the Tudor monarchs.

However, inBritish legislation did not create a specific legal category of a legal labouchee or type of men who would have sex with other men. Stead against juvenile prostitution and white slavery. It was a short piece of legislation, which originated in the House of Lords, declaring the detestable and abominable Vice of Buggery committed with mankind or beast to llabouchere a felony subject to the penalties of death and loss of property customarily suffered by felons, without the benefits of clergy, which meant that offenders in holy orders could not claim to be tried in ecclesiastical courts.

The Yokel’s Preceptora contemporary magazine, said this:. Legislation Tuesday 21 March Get The International Pack for free for your first 30 days for unlimited Smartphone and Tablet access.

Hall, Sexual cultures in Britain: These dossiers contain materials on this issue relating to the late s and were closed in using the one hundred year closure rule, the most stringent tool secrecy available to government.

Wilde was prosecuted to conviction under the Criminal Law Amendment Act,Section 11, which made homosexual laboucheer between consenting males a criminal offence whether amendmenf in public or in private, the section in question having amendkent proposed by Henry Labouchere, editor of Truth, and agreed to in a thinly attended House in the small hours of an August morning on the eve of the parliamentary summer recess.

Porter, Roy and Lesley Hall.

Tag: Labouchere Amendment

He argued for the Grecian pederastyand claimed that the modern era could rethink its values. The Act stipulated that sentences for convictions of sodomy should be labuchere imprisonment with penal servitude. It was this Act which included the infamous Lebouchere Amendment.

Please update your billing details here to continue enjoying your access to the most informative and considered journalism in the UK. He was editor of a weekly paper, Truth, a nineteenth-century version of Private Eye, like which he was much involved in suits for libel.

The introduction of Clause 11 in did ensure a catch-all of sexual acts between males. These dossiers, containing invaluable insights into late Victorian official attitudes towards the matter of sex between men, only became available in for view in In addition, the Act stimulated the minimum sentence, which must be no less than ten years penal servitude.

This clause, poet Symonds noticed, served essentially as a conspiracy charge, allowing for a broader pool of convictions.

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