Question Daniel Law

What is the proposed ‘Alan Turing Law’ and what would it do?

What is the proposed ‘Alan Turing Law’ and what would it do?

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Answer Expert #27065

Historically, homosexual acts were criminalised through a variety of laws. Indeed, sex between two men was not decriminalised until 1967, though the criminal continued to persecute gay men under common law offences such as gross indecency laws. Two of the most famous victims of such criminal laws were Alan Turing, who cracked the German Enigma Code in World War II, and famous playwright Oscar Wilde, and while both men are deceased there are many men alive today who have convictions for homosexual behaviour.
The purpose of the recently proposed ‘Alan Turing Law’, introduced by way of private member’s bill by the Scottish National Party, was to pardon those with convictions for such historical offences. The pardon would have been automatic. An opposing Alan Turing Law, proposed by the government in response, would only automatically pardon those who have died, with those still living having to actively apply to have their convictions disregarded. With the former version of the law has been blocked in the House of Commons, it remains to be seen if the latter will have greater success.


'Alan Turing law': Thousands of gay men to be pardoned’, (BBC, 20 October 2016), accessed 22 October 2016
‘'Turing Bill' for gay pardons fails in Parliament’’, (BBC, 21 October 2016) accessed 22 October 2016
Bowcott O, ‘Posthumous pardons law may see Oscar Wilde exonerated’, (Guardian, 20 October 2016), accessed 22 October 2016