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Royal Assent: Upskirting Bill signed into law

12 February 2019

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The Voyeurism (Offences) (No.2) Bill, known colloquially as the Upskirting Bill, received Royal Assent on 12 February 2019. It becomes the Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019 and will come into force on 12 April 2019.

What is the Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019?

The act adds two new offences to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to cover the practice known colloquially as ‘upskirting'.

The new offences apply in instances when:

  • Without consent, an individual operates equipment or records an image beneath a person's clothing to observe their genitalia or buttocks, whether covered or uncovered by underwear garments
  • The offender has a motive of either obtaining sexual gratification or causing humiliation, distress or alarm to the victim.

The Act also ensures that the most serious offenders, where the purpose of the offence is for sexual gratification, are made subject to notification requirements (often referred to as being placed on the ‘sex offenders register').

The Act received Royal Asset on 12 February 2019, having completed all its parliamentary stages, and will come into force on 12 April 2019. You can follow its passage, from first reading to Act of Parliament, below.

The Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019: Parliamentary passage

You can find explanatory information, bill documents, impartial supporting research and links to transcripts and video of proceedings in both Houses of Parliament:

What is Royal Assent?

Once a bill has completed all the parliamentary stages in both Houses, it is ready to receive Royal Assent. This is when the Queen formally agrees to make the bill into an Act of Parliament (law).

There is no set time period between the end of a bill's passage through Parliament and Royal Assent.

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