B791 - Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2015 Watch

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Birchington
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B791 - Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2015, TSR Conservative Party
Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2015


A bill to make the deliberate transmission of a sexually transmitted disease a separate offence under criminal law in the United Kingdom.
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BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

1. DEFINITIONS
(1) "Sexually transmitted disease" refers to a pathogenic disease spread via sexual intercourse or contact with another human.
(2) "Malicious" refers to the intent to do harm to the victim.
(3) "Physical contraception" refers to barriers during sexual activity, that prevent skin to skin contact and exchange of bodily fluids, excluding saliva.

2. OFFENCE DEFINITION
(1) The new offence is to be named as "Reckless Transmission of a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)", and it is hereby an offence for a person:
a) to transmit an STD to a sexual partner, through sexual contact or intercourse, if
i) the perpetrator was aware of being infected with such a disease, and
ii) the victim was unaware of said infection.
(2) The use of physical contraception shall not be accepted as a defence for the above offence.

3. SENTENCING
(1) The maximum sentence for the above offence shall be:
a) 12 years' custody, and
b) a £3,500 fine.
(2) Offenders may also be placed on the Sex Offender's Register for a maximum of 25 years, except
a) when the offender is under 18 years of age, at which point they may only be placed on the Sex Offender's Register until they reach the age of 18, at which point the conviction is spent.
(3) A custodial sentence of over 3 months shall be mandatory for such cases, except
a) when the offender is under 18 years of age, at which point sentencing is at the discretion of the judge in question.

4. AGGRAVATING FACTORS
(1) Clear malice or intent to cause harm,
(2) The transmission of HIV or syphilis,
(3) Ongoing deceit leading to treatment or diagnosis being delayed,
(4) Resulting pregnancy leading to an infected baby,
(5) Having multiple sexual partners.

5. MITIGATING FACTORS
(1) Clear remorse for actions,
(2) Swift reparations made for treatment of the victim to limit damage,
(3) Non-fatal STD transmission,
(4) Lack of intent to do harm,

6. COMMENCEMENT, SHORT TITLE AND EXTENT.
(1) This Bill may be cited as the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2015.
(2) This Bill shall extend to the entire United Kingdom; and
(3) Shall come into force immediately following Royal Assent.



Notes
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The transmission of HIV and more minor STDs such as chlamydia is becoming an increasing problem amongst the youth of today, with many not aware of the damage it can cause to people's lives. With 450,000 diagnoses of STIs in 2013 ,(https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...14_AA_stis.pdf) this is a problem that cannot go on.

This bill aims to both disincentivise the culture of unprotected sex, while delivering strong justice to those who transmit STIs, especially those that are life-threatening.

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Kittiara
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Good bill. I am leaning towards a yes.
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Jean-Luc Picard
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this seems sensible enough, aye.
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Actaeon
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Age, good bill. My only qualm is with the Sex Offenders Register. It would demean the crimes of rape and paedophilia and others that lead to registration, where there is a clear purpose for them being on a national register. A landlord or teacher has no right or requirement to know the state of a tenant's or employee's sexual health. It doesn't pose any danger, which is the reasoning behind them knowing a conviction for paedophilia for example, and could lead to a unfair bias against people. I also wonder if someone could enlighten me as to how widespread access to the Sex Offenders Register is, and how much people can find out? Could a head teacher for example ascertain the nature of the crime, or just the fact that they're on the register and no more?
cherryblossoming
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Where did you find this? Just curious.
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thehistorybore
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I should have brought this up in party stages, but I would prefer if 'STI' is used over 'STD' for clarity. People who have been transmitted these pathogens do not necessarily experience any symptoms (so by definition, they do not have a 'disease'). Whereas 'STI' covers everything.
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thehistorybore
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And also, 3(3)(a) should be 'at judicial discretion'. The 'judge in question' bit is incorrect/makes it sound like the judge is guilty
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Lady Comstock
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How is this necessary when the current law on assault covers such acts/behaviour? You're in fact making it less of a deterrent/'delivering strong justice' as transmitting HIV maliciously would be open to up to life imprisonment as an assault occasioning GBH under the current law. Even transmitting it recklessly would get you up to five years under the current law.

It's also ridiculous, under your proposals, that you can get only a maximum of 12 months for giving someone a life-changing disease like HIV.
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jenhasdreams
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How do you prove that someone was aware they had the disease at the time of transmission?
Also 12 years / £3500 seems rather excessive for merely givng someone something like chylamidia, which is easily treatable.
Overall, I think it's a good idea, but seems mainly appropriate for HIV cases.
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riamila
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Aye. However, I do agree that STD should be changed to STI so everything's included.
Saracen's Fez
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Aye.
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JoeL1994
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I would prefer to see purposefully transmitting HIV and other incurable STDs open to life imprisonment, 12 years just isn't long enough.

Apart from that, I really like the bill.
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username1524603
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I agree in principle with this bill but a lot of the wording I do not like.

2(1)(ii) - This has the potential for the victim to pretend to be unaware and the criminal to maintain he had had informed her of his status. It will be another one word against another word which currently clogs up our legal system.

3(2) - I would like to see this changed to 16 to match the age of consent for sexual intercourse. I believe a person mentally mature of having sex is capable of taking control of their own actions. It is unfair to allow a promiscuous 17 year old to spread their diseases around but destroy the life of a promiscuous 18 year old, fresher at university by putting them on the sex offenders register. The promiscuous 18 year old who made silly decisions when drunk will be prevented from working with children, go on holiday to certain countries, having guardianship of their own children, and being legally bound to inform police of bank accounts and geographic location.

5(3) & 5(4) - Neither of these should be seen a mitigating factor as an STD itself disproves both of these points. Willingly spreading a disease you know you know you have is equal to biological assault on a victim. The victim may be allergic to the medicines used to treat these non-fatal diseases or the non-fatal diseases may affect the victim more than most people. Even if the diseases was non-fatal the act of willingly passing it on should be enough to convict someone. If an STD was not viewed as serious the advice would be to leave it be like a common cold, but as STDs require treatment it is clear they are serious. Passing on a disease that you know does harm to a person is always done through intent to cause harm. It is impossible to pass a harm-causing disease to someone without aiming to cause harm. I believe the use of physical contraception is more a mitigating factor than both of these as it demonstrates the person with the disease not wanting to spread it, and their desire to not cause harm. This may seem contradictory but as physical contraception is the only possible thing to do to prove you meant no harm, then physical contraception itself should be the mitigating factor.
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username1524603
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(Original post by jenhasdreams)
How do you prove that someone was aware they had the disease at the time of transmission?
Proving someone is aware of their status is not difficult as the prosecution needs to produce proof of a visit to a medical center where they were informed of the disease, or proof of a telephone call being made to the person to inform them of their status. The more difficult part is proving if the victim was or was not aware of a person's status when they decided to partake in sex.
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jenhasdreams
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(Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
Proving someone is aware of their status is not difficult as the prosecution needs to produce proof of a visit to a medical center where they were informed of the disease, or proof of a telephone call being made to the person to inform them of their status. The more difficult part is proving if the victim was or was not aware of a person's status when they decided to partake in sex.
You can have these checks done anonymously at a sexual health clinic though, and ask them not to contact your GP; you can also order self testing kits which again probably aren't traceable. The tests also don't state how long you've had the disease - I would assume that any sex they had whilst infected but unaware would not be prosecutable - you wouldn't know who gave the disease to who?
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Wellzi
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Aye
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thehistorybore
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(Original post by JoeL1994)
I would prefer to see purposefully transmitting HIV and other incurable STDs open to life imprisonment, 12 years just isn't long enough.

Apart from that, I really like the bill.
I agree.
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Aph
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Really good bill. I thought that this was already illegal so I'm happy to support this and hope to see more good legislation like this from the torys.
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James Milibanter
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An Aye from myself, just change "STD" to "STI".
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DanE1998
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I very much agree in principle. Although, I would support a second reading for points previously mentioned such STD -> STI
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