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Sexual Offences Act 1967

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Sexual Offences Act 1967

1967 CHAPTER 60

An Act to amend the law of England and Wales relating to homosexual acts.

[27th July 1967]

1 Amendment of law relating to homosexual acts in private.E+W

(1)Notwithstanding any statutory or commonlaw provision, F1. . .

[F2(a)a homosexual act in private shall not be an offence provided that the parties consent thereto and have attained the age of [F3sixteen] years][F2and

(b)a homosexual act by any person shall not be an offence if he is under the age of sixteen years and the other party has attained that age.]

(2)An act which would otherwise be treated for the purposes of this act as being done in private shall not be so treated if done—

(a)when more than two persons take part or are present; or

(b)in a lavatory to which the public have or are permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise.

(3)A man who is suffering from [F4severe mental handicap] . . . F5cannot in law give any consent which, by virtue of subsection (1) of this section, would prevent a homosexual act from being an offence, but a person shall not be convicted, on account of the incapacity of such a man to consent, of an offence consisting of such an act if he proves that he did not know and had no reason to suspect that man to be suffering from [F6severe mental handicap].

[F7(3A)In subsection (3) of this section “severe mental handicap” means a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning.]

(4)Section 128 of the M1Mental Health Act 1959 (prohibition on men on the staff of a hospital, or otherwise having responsibility for mental patients, having sexual intercourse with women patients) shall have effect as if any reference therein to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman included a reference to committing buggery or an act of gross indecency with another man.

F8(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(6)It is hereby declared that where in any proceedings it is charged that a homosexual act is an offence the prosecutor shall have the burden of proving that the act was done otherwise than in private or otherwise than with the consent of the parties or that any of the parties had not attained the age of [F3 sixteen] years.

(7)For the purposes of this section a man shall be treated as doing a homosexual act if, and only if, he commits buggery with another man or commits an act of gross indecency with another man or is a party to the commission by a man of such an act.

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Amendments (Textual)

F1Words in s. 1(1) repealed (3.11.1994) by 1994 c. 33, ss. 146(1)(4), 168(3), Sch. 11.

F2S. 1(1): words from "a homosexual Act" to the end become (8.1.2001) para. (a) and after that para. there are inserted (8.1.2001) word and para. (b) by 2000 c. 44, s. 2(3)(a)(b); S.I. 2000/3303, art. 2

F3Word in s. 1(1) and (6) substituted (8.1.2001) by virtue of 2000 c. 44, s. 1(2)(a); S.I. 2000/3303, art. 2

F8S. 1(5) repealed (3.11.1994) by 1994 c. 33, ss. 146(1)(4), 168(3), Sch. 11.

Marginal Citations

F92. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F9S. 2 repealed (3.11.1994) by 1994 c. 33, ss. 146(3)(4), 168(3), Sch.11.

F103. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F10S. 3 repealed (3.11.1994) by 1994 c. 33, s. 168(3),Sch. 11.

4 Procuring others to commit homosexual acts.E+W

(1)A man who procures another man to commit with a third man an act of buggery which by reason of section 1 of this Act is not an offence shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

(2)The Act of 1952 shall have effect as if offences under the foregoing subsection were included among those specified in paragraphs 1 to 18 of Schedule 1 to that Act (indictable offences triable summarily with the consent of the accused).

(3)It shall not be an offence under section 13 of the Act of 1956 for a man to procure the commission by another man of an act of gross indecency with the first-mentioned man which by reason of section 1 of this Act is not an offence under the said section 13.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

5 Living on earnings of male prostitution.E+W

(1)A man or woman who knowingly lives wholly or in part on the earnings of prostitution of another man shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months; or

(b)on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.

(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F11

(3)Anyone may arrest without a warrant a person found committing an offence under this section.

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Amendments (Textual)

6 Premises resorted to for homosexual practices.E+W

Premises shall be treated for purposes of sections 33 to 35 of the Act of 1956 as a brothel if people resort to it for the purpose of lewd homosexual practices in circumstances in which resort thereto for lewd heterosexual practices would have led to its being treated as a brothel for the purposes of those sections.

7 Time limit on prosecutions.E+W

(1)No proceedings for an offence to which this section applies shall be commenced after the expiration of twelve months from the date on which that offence was committed.

(2)This section applies to—

(a)any offence under section 13 of the Act of 1956 (gross indecency between men);

(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F12

(c)any offence of buggery by a man with another man not amounting to an assault on that other man and not being an offence by a man with a boy under the age of sixteen.

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Amendments (Textual)

8 Restrictions on prosecutions. E+W+S+N.I.

No proceedings shall be instituted except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions against any man for the offence of buggery with, or gross indecency with, another man . . . F13, or for aiding, abetting, counselling, procuring or commanding its commission where either of those men was at the time of its commission under the age of [F14sixteen]:

. . . F15

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F14Word in s. 8 substituted (8.1.2001) by 2000 c. 44, s. 1(2)(b); S.I. 2000/3303, art. 2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F16E+W

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

10 Past offences.E+W

(1)Except as provided by the following provisions of this section, sections 1, 3, and 4 of this Act shall have effect in relation to acts done before the passing of this Act as they apply in relation to acts done after its passing.

(2)Except as provided by the next following subsection, this Act shall not have effect in relation to any act which is, or apart from this Act would be, an offence where the defendant to an indictment for that offence has been committed for trial before the passing of this Act or, as the case may be, a court-martial for the trial of that offence has been ordered or convened before the passing of this Act.

(3)The foregoing provisions of this section shall not operate to increase the punishment for any offence committed before the passing of this Act.

11 Short title, citation, interpretation, saving and extent.E+W

(1)This Act may be cited as the Sexual Offences Act 1967 and the Act of 1956 and this Act may be cited as the Sexual Offences Acts 1956 and 1967.

(2)In this Act “the Act of 1952” means the M2Magistrates’ Courts Act 1952 and “the Act of 1956” means the M3Sexual Offences Act 1956.

(3)Section 46 of the Act of 1956 (interpretation of “man”, “boy” and other expressions) shall apply for the purposes of the provisions of this Act as it applied for the purposes of the provisions of that Act.

(4)References in this Act to any enactment shall, except in so far as the context otherwise requires, be construed as references to that enactment as amended or applied by or under any subsequent enactment including this Act.

(5)This Act shall not extend to Scotland or Northern Ireland.

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