Dudgeon v United Kingdom, 4 Eur. H.R. Rep. 149 (1981)

Dudgeon v United Kingdom, 4 Eur. H.R. Rep. 149 (1981)

Mr. Dudgeon, a gay man, alleged that the existence in Northern Ireland of laws which have the effect of making certain homosexual acts between consenting adult males criminal offences, violated his right to respect for his private life. The European Court of Human Rights held that laws prohibiting certain homosexual acts between consenting adult males constituted an unjustified interference with Dudgeon’s rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to privacy).

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Wolfenden Report, ‘Report of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution in Great Britain’

Wolfenden Report, ‘Report of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution in Great Britain’

The Report, published in the UK in 1957 and disregarding the conventional ideas of its day, recommended that ‘homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence.’ The Committee determined that it was not the function of the law to intervene in the private life of citizens. The Committee also rejected the idea that homosexuality was a disease.

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