Interrogating the criminalisation of same-sex sexual activity: a study of Commonwealth Africa

Arimoro, A.E. ORCID: 0000-0002-8698-9328, 2021. Interrogating the criminalisation of same-sex sexual activity: a study of Commonwealth Africa. Liverpool Law Review. ISSN 0144-932X

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The Abrahamic faiths and received colonial law have been identified as the driving force behind the criminalisation of homosexual activity in most of the Commonwealth States of Africa. This article, therefore, seeks to question the role of criminal law in proscribing sexual activities amongst consenting adults of the same gender in Commonwealth African states. A recurring question in the paper is the propriety of criminalising a consensual conduct amongst consenting adults in private when no harm or injury is done to other citizens or the state in line with JS Mill's principle of harm. The article finds that the misconception that the main aim of criminal law is to legislate the moral values of the majority, forms support for the view that homosexuality can be learned and unlearned and if this is the case, a paternalistic approach by the state would help mould citizens' behaviour. A comparative and case study approach was adopted for the discussion in the article. Four Commonwealth African states, namely, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda were selected as case studies. The article recommends a much more robust approach for the support of sexual minorities in the Commonwealth.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Liverpool Law Review
Creators: Arimoro, A.E.
Publisher: Springer
Date: 27 April 2021
ISSN: 0144-932X
Rights: © The Author(s) 2021. Open access provided under NTU's arrangement with Springer Nature. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Law School
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 04 May 2021 13:49
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:03

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