UCL Faculty of Laws


How Turing came to be pardoned and how the pardon was extended to others

29 November 2018, 6:00 pm–7:15 pm

IMAGE: Parliament building with Turings images behind

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UCL Laws Events


Gideon Schreier Lecture Theatre
UCL Laws, Bentham House
Endsleigh Gardens

Speaker: Lord Sharkey

following by a panel discussion and Q&A with
- Dr Sinéad Agnew (UCL Laws)
- Dr Mark Dsouza (UCL Laws)

Chaired by Professor Piet Eeckhout (Dean, UCL Laws)

Thursday 29 November 2018 from 6 – 7.15pm
at the UCL Faculty of Laws

About this talk

Lord Sharkey, Lib Dem peer, fought for posthumous pardons for the 75,000 men (including Alan Turing) convicted under the Labouchere Amendment to the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 which further criminalised homosexual behaviour. For years Government opposed this, but in 2016/17 the law was finally changed. First, Turing was pardoned and then all others convicted as he was were also pardoned.

In this talk Lord Sharkey will talk about how this came about and his part in the passing of the 'Alan Turing law'.



About the Speakers

Lord (John) Sharkey has spent most of his commercial life in communications businesses. He was joint managing director of Saatchi and Saatchi UK, founded and ran his own advertising agency and was chair of various other communications and recruitment enterprises. He became strategic communications advisor to Nick Clegg in 2007 and was chair of the Liberal Democrat’s General Election campaign in 2010 and of the 2011 Fairer Votes campaign. He is Chair of the Hansard Society, a founding director of the financial services think-tank New City Agenda Ltd and a director of the not-for-profit fact checking organisation, Full Fact Ltd. He is also chair of the Association of Medical Research Charities and Chair of the Specialised Healthcare Alliance. He is a member of the House of Lords and of its Economic Affairs Select Committee. Since joining UCL Council in 2017, Lord Sharkey has been a proud and committed ally to UCL’s LGBTQ+ community.
He serves as the Council’s LGBTQ+ Champion and is an active and enthusiastic member of UCL’s LGBTQ+ Equality Advisory Group (UCL LEAG).

Sinéad Agnew joined the UCL Faculty of Laws in 2017, where she lectures in the law of property and trusts.  She also jointly co-ordinates the Faculty’s LGBT+ Staff-Student Society.  She was formerly a lecturer in law at Cardiff University (2015-2017).  She is also a barrister (currently non-practising) and an associate member of Serle Court, a leading set of commercial chancery chambers.   Before becoming an academic, Sinéad practised law for a decade, first as a barrister in London and, subsequently, as a litigation lawyer in Jersey, specialising in high value trusts disputes and advising trustees on all legal aspects of trusts administration, as well as insolvency, multi-jurisdictional enforcement proceedings, and multi-jurisdictional probate disputes.  She is a founding member of the Institute of Law in Jersey.

Mark Dsouza joined the UCL Faculty of Laws in 2016 and his principal research interest is in the theory and philosophy of the criminal law. His doctoral thesis was converted into a monograph titled Rationale-Based Defences in Criminal Law, and published by Hart Publishing in May 2017. In it, Dr Dsouza suggests a new account of the various types of rationale-based defences in the criminal law, and offers suggestions as to how they should be understood, interpreted, and applied. He has also published on topics like the theoretical foundations of consent in the criminal law (Law & Philosophy, 2014; SSRN, 2013), the supposed duty of retreat before using force in self defence (OJLS, 2015), and culpability in the criminal law (King’s Law Journal, 2015). Additionally, Dr Dsouza is keenly interested in the doctrinal law relating to inchoate and accessorial liability. He co-organised a conference in September 2016 which brought together judges of the Supreme Court, representatives of the Law Commission, representatives of the CPS, members of the bar, legal and criminological academic, representatives from the police, campaign groups, and students, to discuss the Supreme Court’s judgement in R v Jogee & Ruddock (2016) and more generally, the law on accessorial liability. He also co-organises the Assize Seminar Series in Cutting Edge Criminal Law. The inaugural seminar was held at Oxford University in May 2017, and further seminars were held at UCL in November 2017, and Cambridge in April 2018.