|Long title||An Act to amend the Law with respect to disqualifications on account of sex.|
|Citation||9 & 10 Geo. 5 c. 71|
|Royal assent||23 December 1919|
|Amended by||Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975|
Solicitors Act 1932
Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1989
Statute Law Revision Act 1927
Criminal Justice Act 1972
Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1980
|Text of statute as originally enacted|
|Revised text of statute as amended|
The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom. It became law when it received Royal Assent on 23 December 1919.The act enabled women to join the professions and professional bodies, to sit on juries and be awarded degrees. It was a government compromise, a replacement for a more radical private members' bill, the Women's Emancipation Bill.
The basic purpose of the act was, as stated in its long title, "… to amend the Law with respect to disqualification on account of sex", which it achieved in four short sections and one schedule. Its broad aim was achieved by section 1, which stated that:
A person shall not be disqualified by sex or marriage from the exercise of any public function, or from being appointed to or holding any civil or judicial office or post, or from entering or assuming or carrying on any civil profession or vocation, or for admission to any incorporated society (whether incorporated by Royal Charter or otherwise), [and a person shall not be exempted by sex or marriage from the liability to serve as a juror]…
The Crown was given the power to regulate the admission of women to the civil service by Orders in Council, and judges were permitted to control the gender composition of juries.
By section 2, women were to be admitted as solicitors after serving three years only if they possessed a university degree which would have qualified them if male, or if they had fulfilled all the requirements of a degree at a university which did not, at the time, admit women to degrees.
By section 3, no statute or charter of a university was to preclude university authorities from regulating the admission of women to membership or degrees.
By section 4, any orders in council, royal charters, or statutory provisions which were inconsistent with this Act were to cease to have effect.
Women had previously been given a (limited) right to vote by the Representation of the People Act 1918, and had been able to stand for Parliament, but most of the less high-profile restrictions on women participating in civil life remained. In effect, this act lifted most of the existing common-law restrictions on women; they were now able, for example to serve as magistrates or jurors, or enter the professions. Marriage was no longer legally considered a bar to a woman's ability to work in these spheres.[ citation needed ]
The act came into force on the day it became law, 23 December 1919; the first female justice of the peace – Ada Summers, ex officio a Justice by virtue of being the Mayor of Stalybridge – was sworn in a week later, on 31 December.However, it took until December 1922 for a female solicitor to be appointed. The first women barristers to be appointed were Frances 'Fay' Kyle and Averil Deverell in Ireland in November 1921.
The act was, by the standards of its time, astonishingly broad. It only addressed three areas specifically – the Civil Service, the courts, and the universities – leaving all other areas to the sweeping alterations made by section 1. Francis Bennion later described it as "splendidly general", arguing that it went "further in emancipating women than [did] the Sex Discrimination Act 1975".
However, the act was rarely invoked by the courts –the first court case to rule based on it was Nagle v Feilden in 1966, in a case brought by female horse trainer Florence Nagle against the Jockey Club's refusal to grant her a training licence on grounds of her sex. The one significant ruling as to the extent of the Act was not in a court of law, but rather in the House of Lords, where the Committee for Privileges was asked by Margaret Mackworth, 2nd Viscountess Rhondda to rule if the Act's provisions for exercising "any public function" extended to permitting a woman to sit in the House as a peeress in her own right. After some debate, it was held 22–4 that it did not. Women would not be permitted to sit in the Lords until 1958, when appointed female life peers were expressly permitted by the Life Peerages Act 1958, whilst hereditary peeresses gained the right to take their seats after the passage of the Peerage Act 1963.
Much of the act has been repealed, although the first part of section 1 remains in force (in Scotland it was repealed in relation to criminal proceedings by the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975), as well as the whole of section 3.
A 2016 study of the inclusion of women on juries at the Old Bailey (London) finds that "the inclusion of females had little effect on overall conviction rates but resulted in a large and significant increase in convictions for sex offences and on the conviction rate differential between violent crime cases with female versus male victims. The inclusion of women also increased the likelihood of juries being discharged without reaching a verdict on all charges and the average time taken to reach a verdict. A complementary analysis of cases in which the jury was carried over from a previous trial also implies that the inclusion of female jurors on the seated jury sharply increased conviction rates for violent crimes against women versus men."
A 2017 study looking at female jurors outside London during the first decade after the 1919 Act found that the picture was highly localised, but that one common feature throughout England and Wales was a decline in the number of women serving on juries. In the Midlands, the average assize jury went from having between 3.3 and 2.9 women in 1921, to having between 2.0 and 2.4 in 1929. In the south of England (excluding London), the average jury went from having between 2.0 and 1.3 women per jury in 1921 to an average of just 0.8 by the end of the decade. Juries usually had no female members when they were trying sexual offences whose victim was neither female nor a child, as sex between men and acts of bestiality were considered too shocking for men and women to deliberate on together. In most regions, all-male juries were uncommon for property offences, presumably because trials for theft and other similar offences were considered suitable subjects for men and women to deliberate on together. There were also regional differences. In the southeast of England, all-male juries were particularly unusual for trials concerning homicide and offences against the state. In south Wales, the same was true for non-fatal offences against the person; and in southwest England, there were fewer all-male juries in sexual offence trials involving female victims. In the Midlands, where there were generally more female jurors anyway, there were no differences beyond the general trends noted above regarding male-only sexual offences and property offences.
The act is being commemorated by the First 100 Years project, to recognise the impact of women in law since the act becoming law.
Under the law of the United Kingdom, high treason is the crime of disloyalty to the Crown. Offences constituting high treason include plotting the murder of the sovereign; committing adultery with the sovereign's consort, with the sovereign's eldest unmarried daughter, or with the wife of the heir to the throne; levying war against the sovereign and adhering to the sovereign's enemies, giving them aid or comfort; and attempting to undermine the lawfully established line of succession. Several other crimes have historically been categorised as high treason, including counterfeiting money and being a Catholic priest.
As in other countries, feminism in the United Kingdom seeks to establish political, social, and economic equality for women. The history of feminism in Britain dates to the very beginnings of feminism itself, as many of the earliest feminist writers and activists—such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Barbara Bodichon, and Lydia Becker—were British.
Summary jurisdiction, in the widest sense of the phrase, in English law includes the power asserted by courts of record to deal brevi manu with contempts of court without the intervention of a jury. Probably the power was originally exercisable only when the fact was notorious, i.e. done in presence of the court. But it has long been exercised as to extra curial contempts.
The Offences against the Person Act 1861 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It consolidated provisions related to offences against the person from a number of earlier statutes into a single Act. For the most part these provisions were, according to the draftsman of the Act, incorporated with little or no variation in their phraseology. It is one of a group of Acts sometimes referred to as the Criminal Law Consolidation Acts 1861. It was passed with the object of simplifying the law. It is essentially a revised version of an earlier Consolidation Act, the Offences Against the Person Act 1828, incorporating subsequent statutes.
A discharge is a type of sentence imposed by a court whereby no punishment is imposed.
Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, commonly known as the Labouchere Amendment, made "gross indecency" a crime in the United Kingdom. In practice, the law was used broadly to prosecute male homosexuals where actual sodomy could not be proven. The penalty of life imprisonment for sodomy was also so harsh that successful prosecutions were rare. The new law was much more enforceable. It was also meant to raise the age of consent for heterosexual intercourse. Section 11 was repealed and re-enacted by section 13 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956, which in turn was repealed by the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which partially decriminalised male homosexual behaviour.
Rape is a type of sexual assault initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, or where the person is under threat or manipulation, or with a person who is incapable of valid consent.
The jury of matrons was a form of special jury at English common law, usually used to resolve legal disputes over whether or not a party to a legal action was pregnant.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Tanzania face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Homosexuality in Tanzania is a socially taboo topic, and same-sex sexual acts are criminal offences, punishable with life imprisonment. The law also punishes heterosexuals who engage in oral sex and anal intercourse.
In the legal jurisdiction of England and Wales, there is a long tradition of jury trial that has evolved over centuries.
National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality and Another v Minister of Justice and Others is a decision of the Constitutional Court of South Africa which struck down the laws prohibiting consensual sexual activities between men. Basing its decision on the Bill of Rights in the Constitution – and in particular its explicit prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation – the court unanimously ruled that the crime of sodomy, as well as various other related provisions of the criminal law, were unconstitutional and therefore invalid.
The Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 (c.39) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed to consolidate certain enactments creating offences and relating to the criminal law of Scotland.
Rape is a statutory offence in England and Wales. The offence is created by section 1 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003:
(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—
(2) Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.
(3) Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section.
(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.
The Sexual Offences Act, 1957 is an act of the Parliament of South Africa which, in its current form, prohibits prostitution, brothel-keeping and procuring, and other activities related to prostitution. Before the law relating to sex offences was consolidated and revised by the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2007, it also prohibited various other sex offences, including sex with children under the age of consent and sex with the mentally incompetent. As the Immorality Act it was infamous for prohibiting sex between a white person and a person of another race, until that prohibition was removed by a 1985 amendment.
The Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act 1919 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom originally aimed at continuing and extending the provisions of the Aliens Restriction Act 1914 and the British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act 1914 and to deal with former enemy aliens after the end of the First World War.
Carol Morrison was the first woman to be admitted as a solicitor in England.
The Evidence Act 2006 is an Act of the Parliament of New Zealand that codifies the laws of evidence. When enacted, the Act drew together the common law and statutory provisions relating to evidence into one comprehensive scheme, replacing most of the previous evidence law on the admissibility and use of evidence in court proceedings.
Article 365 of the Sri Lankan Penal Code criminalizes "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" and provides for a penalty of up to ten years in prison.
Rape in Alabama is currently defined across three sections of its Criminal Code: Definitions, Rape in the First Degree, and Rape in the Second Degree. Each section addresses components of the crime such as age, sentencing, the genders of the individuals involved, and the acts involved.
Maud Isabel Ingram became Maud Isabel Crofts was the first British woman to be articled and the first to be a solicitor after a ten-year campaign from 1913 to 1923. Ivy Williams was the first to be called to the bar in 1922.