A modest proposal for prostitution

But will anyone object if, with a ballot paper in one hand and the Armalite in the other,we take power in Ireland? For making them beneficial to the economy and to end once and for all the generational rebellions against British Occupation. In this year of Our Lordwith various, elections in the different bits and pieces, of what is left of our country, and in the context of the forthcoming Scottish referendum for Independence from the British, the same being deprived of the island of Ireland as a whole, save possibly in that little piece, which might deliver a result, which England would approve.

A modest proposal for prostitution

The court ruled that while Parliament had authority to regulate nuisances, the legislation in question was grossly disproportionate to this end, arbitrarily undermining the life, liberty and security of prostitutes engaged in their — lawful — trade. The legislation in question is subject to a suspended declaration of invalidity, such that Parliament has one year within which to enact alternative legislation if it wishes.

Thus, France is following Sweden, with other European countries reported to be considering similar change.


In arguing for this change, I understand the French government stressed the high proportion of prostitutes in France who are victims of people trafficking. The Canadian and French experience confirms the obvious: The controversy, as with so many issues in our public life, plays out in part in constitutional law and practice.

This blog post considers the constitutionality of legislating about prostitution by thinking through the proportionality and prudence of a proposal for legislation, outlined below, which addresses the problem of forced prostitution.

The problem is that, while accurate figures are hard to come by, it would seem that a high proportion of trafficked persons are bound for the sex trade, which means that at least some proportion of prostitutes in the Western world have been trafficked and are forced to undertake and to endure sexual acts without consent.

That is, these women and men, and sometimes children are the victims of repeated rapes, for which those who profit as well as the rapists themselves should be held criminally liable and severely punished. But is the client of a forced prostitute a rapist?

Perhaps not, for there is an asymmetry in the law of rape, especially stark in cases where a person is sold into prostitution, is forced into sexual acts — maybe even often is forced to seem willing, to act as if consenting.

A Modest Proposal

The asymmetry is this: That is, it may very often be unreasonable to believe that a woman with whom a man has paid for sex in fact consents. But this is a very thin reed on which to secure a rape conviction of a man who pays for sex with a person who, it turns out, is forced to be a prostitute.

And perhaps rightly so, for the man who fails to consider the possibility that the woman in question has been trafficked — who has not thought about the reach of person trafficking — may simply be careless and unthinking, not vicious or reckless, such that it would be wrong to condemn his action as an instance of that most serious sexual crime, rape.

Interestingly, the criminal law does rule out, or at least sharply bears on, certain kinds of argument about whether it was reasonable for the accused to believe that the complainant consents.

A Modest Proposal: The Restoration of Slavery

Section 75 of the Sexual Offences Act provides a rebuttable presumption that the complainant did not consent and that the defendant did not reasonably believe she consented if the defendant is aware that at the time of the relevant act, or immediately before, the complainant was in fear of violence against herself or anotherwas unlawfully detained, was asleep or otherwise unconscious, was incapable of communicating consent by reason of physical disability, or was subject without her consent to a stupefying substance.

Section 76 provides that the accused does not have a reasonable belief in consent if he intentionally deceives the complainant about the nature or purpose of the relevant act or if he intentionally induces the complainant to consent to the relevant act by impersonating a person known personally to the complainant.

The equivalent New Zealand legislation, s A of the Crimes Actis more prescriptive still, specifying various circumstances including excessive consumption of alcohol or other drugs in which a person does not consent.

However, while this rules out any argument that the complainant in fact consented, it does not in terms specify that the defendant cannot reasonably believe the complainant consented if drunk, etc.

Still, the significance of these provisions is that they limit the scope for argument, avoiding some uncertainty about when and why it is reasonable to believe the complainant consented. Consider this modest proposal. Amend s 76 of the Sexual Offences Act to provide a conclusive presumption that no complainant consents, and no defendant reasonably believes she consents, when the defendant knows that the payment of money by the defendant or on his behalf is a condition of the defendant doing the relevant act.Temple prostitution: a modest proposal by Peter Speckhard, associate editor.

November Forum Letter. Every now and then a new way of looking at things not only solves a problem but opens up unexpected opportunities for that one solution to lead to a whole host of related solutions. Note: Jonathan Swift (), author and satirist, famous for Gulliver's Travels () and A Modest Proposal ().

This proposal is based on his, where he suggeseds that the Irish eat their own children, is one of his most drastic pieces.

He devoted much of his writing to the struggle for Ireland against the English hegemony.

A modest proposal for prostitution

Prostitution would be eliminated entirely. For a start, a prostitute would be extremely unlikely to advertise their services or walk the streets for fear of being caught. Even if they could find one, men would not dare to visit a prostitute for fear that she would tell the authorities, claiming the sex was non-consensual.

A Modest Proposal For preventing the Children of Poor People From being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and For making them Beneficial to the Publick, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in Start studying A Modest Proposal Quiz.

Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Temple prostitution: a modest proposal by Peter Speckhard, associate editor. November Forum Letter.

Every now and then a new way of looking at things not only solves a problem but opens up unexpected opportunities for that one solution to lead to a whole host of related solutions. The recent decisions of the ELCA regarding homosexuality.

Temple Prostitution: A Modest Proposal | Paul T. McCain | First Things