Law Reform Commission Consultation Paper On Miscellaneous Sexual Offences

With the assistance of the Criminal Law and Procedure Committee, the Law Society has reviewed a consultation paper released on 16 May by the Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong (“LRC”)’s Review of Sexual Offences Sub-committee. This consultation paper is on law reform proposals concerning miscellaneous sexual offences. These proposals cover miscellaneous sexual offences including incest, exposure, voyeurism, bestiality, necrophilia, acts done with intention to commit a sexual offence. There is also a review of homosexual or homosexual-related buggery and gross indecency offences in the Crimes Ordinance.

A submission is produced in response. Among the various proposals, and by reference to the latest developments in the UK and Scotland, we provide comments on the proposed reforms to the offence of voyeurism and the taking of upskirt photographs. We have asked the LRC to duly consider the developments in these jurisdictions.

We note also that other jurisdictions have already been proceeding with their reviews of some other sexual offences not canvassed by the LRC in their latest study. For example, in the UK (and also in Scotland), there have already been legislation against the offence of what is colloquially called “revenge porn”. This refers to the situation when a person shares or distributes intimate private videos or photographs of another person without their prior permission. This type of activity is usually conducted by an ex-partner or jealous person from a prior relationship by way of punishing, tarnishing, embarrassing and attacking the victim. We take the view that the above should be considered by LRC as part of the overall review of sexual offences, or as a separate or extended study. A modern and a comprehensive criminal justice system protecting victims of all forms of sexual offences is important to Hong Kong.

The submission on the above could be found here: