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Report No. 64

4.20. Suggestion to substitute "indiscriminate lewdness" not accepted.-

First, the suggestion1 that the words "indiscriminate lewdness" should be substituted in place of the words "promiscuous sexual intercourse", does not appear to be a sound one. We apprehend that the expression "lewdness" may prove to be too wide a test, in this context. It would be of interest, in this connection, to trace the origin of the expression "indiscriminate lewdness". In England, causing or encouraging a woman to become a common prostitute is an offence under section 22(1) of the Sexual Offence Act, 1956. Under section 23(1) of the same Act, it is an offence for a person to procure a woman to become a common prostitute. Under section 30, it is an offence for a man knowingly to live wholly or in part on the earnings of prostitution.

It has been held by the Court of Criminal Appeal2 that the words "common prostitute" and "prostitution" are not confined to normal sexual intercourse. Mr. Justice Darling's judgment3 of 1918, where "prostitution" was taken to mean the offering by a woman of her body for purposes amounting to common lewdness for payment, was, in substance, approved by the Court of Criminal Appeal, and it was pointed out that Darling J., might well have taken these words from the dictionary meaning-Shorter Oxford English Dictionary-whereunder the first meaning given to "prostitution" is the "offering of the body to indiscriminate lewdness for hire".

1. Para. 4.18, supra.

2. R. v Webb, (1963) 3 All ER 177 (CCA).

3. R. v. D. Munk, (1918-1919) All ER (Reprint) 499 (Darling, J.).

Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1956 Back

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