Jersey Law 15/1990




A LAW     to amend the law relating to homosexual acts, sanctioned by Order of Her Majesty in Council of the


24th day of JULY 1990



(Registered on the 28th of September 1990






The 29th day of May 1990


THE STATES, subject to the sanction of Her Most Excellent Majesty in Council, have adopted the following Law –


Amendment of law relating to homosexual acts in private

(1)           Notwithstanding any provision of law, whether enacted or customary, but subject to Article 2 of this Law, a homosexual act in private shall not be punishable as the crime of ‘sodomie’ (hereinafter referred to as “sodomy”) if the parties to the act consent and have attained the age of twenty-one years.

(2)           An act which would otherwise be treated for the purpose of this Law as being done in private shall not be so treated if done –

(a)     when more than two persons take part or are present; or

(b)     in a lavatory to which the public have or are permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise.

(3)           A man who is a person requiring special care within the meaning of the Mental Health (Jersey) Law 1969,1 as amended,2 cannot in law give any consent which, by virtue of paragraph (1) of this Article, would prevent a homosexual act from being an offence, but a person shall not be convicted, on account of the incapacity of such a man to consent, of an offence consisting of such an act if he proves that he did not know and had no reason to suspect that man to be a person requiring special care.

(4)           Paragraph (1) of this Article shall not prevent an act from being an offence (other than a civil offence) under any provision of the Army Act 1955 (c.18), the Air Force Act 1955 (c.19) or the Naval Discipline Act 1957 (c.52), in their application to the Bailiwick.

(5)           For the purposes of this Article, a man shall be treated as doing a homosexual act if, and only if, he commits sodomy with another man or is a party to the commission by a man of such an act.


Homosexual acts on Jersey ships

(1)           It shall continue to be a crime at customary law for a man to commit sodomy with another man in circumstances in which, by reason of Article 1 of this Law, it would not be an offence (apart from this Article), if the act charged is done on a Jersey ship, wherever it may be, by a man who is a member of the crew of that ship with another man who is a member of the crew of that or any other Jersey ship.

(2)           In this Article-

“member of the crew”, in relation to a ship, includes the master of the ship and any apprentice to the sea service serving in that ship;

“Jersey ship” means a ship registered in the Bailiwick habitually used, or used at the time of the act charged, for the purposes of carrying passengers or goods for reward.


Short title

This Law may be cited as the Sexual Offences (Jersey) Law 1990.




Deputy Greffier of the States.

1        Volume 1968-1969, page 345.

2        Volume 1970-1972, page 549, and R & O 5838.

Page Last Updated: 27 Apr 2016