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Under new law, “it would also allow this intrusive behaviour to be treated as a sexual offence, ensure that the most serious offenders are made subject to notification requirements (commonly referred to as the ‘sex offenders register’)” (Gov.org) and; would capture instances where the purpose is to obtain sexual gratification or cause humiliation, distress or alarm. The new punishment for upskirting is two years imprisonment and a place on the ‘sex offenders register.’ This change does not merely impact upon the stringency of punishment; the new bill will be much more victim centric and reflect the feelings of the vulnerable. Previous to the change, upskirting was typically prosecuted under the lens of public indecency, that is to say, the impact of upskirting on the general public rather than the victim who has been harassed. New laws however, reflect the disturbing and upsetting aspect of upskirting, and provide victims with an appropriate channel to pursue their claim.
In this article, we speak with Ryan Whelan, the lawyer behind the campaign, to discuss the promising future of this bill and what the change means for: practitioners, victims and society at large.
As underlined in the Provisions of the Bill, published by parliament in a research briefing, the amendment would result in several key changes. To read the bill in full, please click here.
“The bill, as introduced in the House of Lords, seeks to amend section 67 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, by inserting two new offences covering the practice of upskirting.
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