Report No. 64
3.2. Reasons for narrow scope of the Act.-
One could think of many reasons that account for the present narrow scope of the Act. The corresponding law in England-previously, the Vagrancy Acts and the common law as to bawdy houses, and now the Sexual Offences Act, 1956 and the Street Offences Act, 1959-has always been narrowly drawn. The common law punished, as a public nuisance, the keeping of bawdy houses, and the letting of premises on hire for prostitution, and some offences were added by the statutes mentioned above.
But the criminal law in England always steered clear of a total ban on prostitution. Even the Act of 1959 does not go so far. Secondly, it must have been presumed by the legislature that a total ban on prostitution may nob be effective. Thirdly, the International Convention on the subject did not go so far, and as we have already noted, it is on the International Convention that the Act is based.1 Lastly, the pre-existing provincial or State Acts were also narrow in their scope.
1. Para. 2.1, supra.