Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980

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The Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980[1] is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom (citation 1980 c.62). It decriminalized private homosexual acts between two consenting adults in Scotland when it came into effect on 1 February 1981.[2]

"Subject to the provisions of this section, a homosexual act in private shall not be an offence provided that the parties consent thereto and have attained the age of twenty-one years." (§80:1)

The homosexual age of consent fixed by the Act (21) was much higher than the heterosexual age of consent in the United Kingdom, which had been set at 16 since the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885. The ages of consent for homosexual and heterosexual acts in Scotland were eventually equalised at 16 with the passage of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980". Expert Participation. Retrieved 4 September 2017.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ "THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE (SCOTLAND)ACT 1980 (Hansard, 17 December 1980)". Retrieved 4 September 2017.

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