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Voyeurism (Offences) (No. 2) Bill: Briefing for Lords Stages

Published Monday, October 15, 2018

This House of Lords Library Briefing provides an overview of the Voyeurism (Offences) (No. 2) Bill which is due to receive its second reading in the House of Lords on 23 October 2018. The Bill would insert two new offences into the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The offences would cover the practice of ‘upskirting’: taking a photograph up a person’s clothes without their consent.

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The Voyeurism (Offences) (No 2) Bill is a one clause government bill which would insert two new offences into the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The offences would cover the practice of ‘upskirting’: taking a photograph up a person’s clothes without their consent.

The bill “mirrors closely” the measures contained in a private member’s bill introduced by Wera Hobhouse (Liberal Democrat MP for Bath) in March 2018, the Voyeurism (Offences) Bill 2017­­–19. Although the Government had indicated its support for Mrs Hobhouse’s bill, the bill was objected to at its second reading on 15 June 2018. The Government subsequently announced that it would be introducing its own legislation “to ensure that these important changes are on the statute as soon as possible”.

The bill was introduced in the House of Commons on the 21 June 2018 and, unusually, had its second reading in committee (rather than in the chamber) on 2 July 2018; the bill formally received its second reading in the chamber, with no debate, on 3 July 2018. The Bill was considered in committee on 10 and 12 July 2018 and passed report stage and third reading on 5 September 2018. The Bill received cross-party support during its passage through the Commons and was passed unamended.

The bill was introduced into the Lords on 6 September 2018 and is scheduled to receive its second reading on 23 October 2018. The bill would apply to England and Wales.

Lords Library notes LLN-2018-0104

Author: Heather Evennett

Topic: Sexual offences

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