1. Exquisite Tweets from @ProfChalmers

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    I see the Spectator has found someone to defend Christopher Chope, who hasn’t actually bothered to work out what Wera Hobhouse’s bill was about. blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/06/do-we-…

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    “...under the offence of outraging public decency, as voyeurism” is legally illiterate. These are two *different* offences. Outraging public decency can mostly, but not always, be used to in cases of upskirting, voyeurism mostly cannot.

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    McDonagh thinks dealing with upskirting as voyeurism “sounds about right”. Well, good news, that’s what Hobhouse’s Bill would have done. How do we know this? Well, there’s a clue hidden in the arcanities of Parliamentary procedure. It’s devious, but it’s there. Wait for it...

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    Hobhouse’s Bill is called the VOYEURISM (OFFENCES) BILL. Tricky, isn’t it. Who could ever have known it was about voyeurism? You’d have to be some kind of legal mastermind to work that out. publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill…

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    But wait! McDonagh has another point. Isn’t it unfair, she says, that someone convicted of this offence could wind up on this sex offenders register? (No, not really.) Wasn’t brave Sir Christopher right to stand up against this?

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    Well, there’s a problem here too. Hobhouse’s Bill doesn’t, as it stands (important point!), have this effect. So Sir Christopher wasn’t actually standing up against that at all.

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    Now, in fact, it has been pointed out (small cough) that this is a limitation in the drafting. And the MoJ indicated that it would seek to amend the Bill accordingly in due course. If that were an issue for Sir Christopher, he could have challenged those amendments in due course.

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    McDonagh is also unhappy about the proposed two year maximum sentence under the voyeurism provisions, which she considers excessive. But she is happy for the conduct to be prosecuted as outraging public decency. You can go to jail for life for outraging public decency.

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    This is the kind of point, therefore, you can make only if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers