This case study explores how in 2009 Nauru embarked on a wholesale review of its 1899 Criminal Code, including its sexual offences provisions, with the aim of simplifying, modernising and strengthening criminal offences to address the needs of Nauru’s developing society and the various facets of the criminal justice system. The reform resulted in the enactment of the new Crimes Act of 2016, with extensive international assistance and expertise. This case study provides an in-depth analysis of how this legislative reform was successfully achieved with a particular focus on the changes made to Nauru’s sexual offences laws.
This synopsis briefly draws together the lessons learned from each of six individual case studies of countries that have undertaken the reform of discriminatory sexual offences laws and compares and contrasts the different models of change. The case study series includes examples of both wholesale updating of criminal codes, allowing multiple issues to be tackled together, and targeted legislative reforms. By showcasing these examples, it is hoped that other countries can be inspired and assisted to undertake similar reforms.
This case study provides an in depth analysis of the significant leap forward taken by Palau in protecting the rights of its citizens, through the updating of its sexual offences laws and criminal code. Significant changes to the country’s sexual offences laws and domestic violence framework were achieved by the enactment of the Family Protection Act in 2012 and through the overhaul of the criminal law in 2014. These changes to domestic legal frameworks have improved protection for women, children, LGBT people and other vulnerable people.
This report examines how the 2014 reform of the criminal code in Northern Cyprus was successfully achieved, decriminalising same-sex activity. This report explores the vividly the important role civil society played in achieving not just legal and policy changes, but also social transformation. The work of domestic civil society groups, supported by international NGOs, was instrumental in raising awareness of the previously archaic and discriminatory provisions of the 1959 Criminal Code and advocating for change. Through intersectional collaboration and a multi-pronged strategy, applied significant political pressure in favour of reform.
This report provides a step-by-step analysis of how reform of sexual offences law in Belize was achieved. Since the 1990s, Belize has undertaken a concerted effort to reform its sexual offences laws. This has been achieved through a combination of changes to legislation and policy via the legislature, and public interest litigation via the courts. The case study reflects on how those two processes – legislative reform on the one hand, and public interest litigation on the other – although unconnected, nonetheless mutually reinforced each other as frameworks for reform. Ultimately, the Belize example demonstrates that parallel action can be a strong model for achieving progressive legal and social change, and eliminating discrimination.
This report examines how the reform of Mozambique's sexual offences laws was successfully achieved. Enacted in 2015, Mozambique's reform of its criminal code, including its sexual offences provisions, has created greater protection from violence and discrimination for women, children and LGBT people, among others. This report provides a step-by-step analysis of how reform was achieved, illustrating that reform is possible despite the existence of contentious and politically challenging issues, when political will, diverse champions and a mix of domestic and international support are present.