Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985

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Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985
Long titleAn Act to prohibit female circumcision.
Citation1985 c. 38
Introduced byLord Kennet[1]
Territorial extentEngland and Wales; Scotland; Northern Ireland
Royal assent16 July 1985
Commencement16 September 1985
Other legislation
Repealed byFemale Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (E+W+NI), Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) Act 2005
Status: Repealed
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

The Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 (c. 38) is a repealed Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It made female genital mutilation a crime throughout the UK, allowing for sentences of up to five years' imprisonment.[2] It was introduced to the House of Lords by Wayland Young, 2nd Baron Kennet,[1] and passed on 16 July 1985, coming into force two months later.[3]

No one was ever successfully prosecuted under the Act,[4] but a medical practitioner was stricken from the Medical Register in 1993 for having performed the procedure.[5] The Act was replaced by the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) Act 2005 in Scotland, both of which extend the legislation to cover acts committed by UK nationals outside of the UK's borders, so that it became a crime to take a girl abroad to undergo FGM.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b First reading of Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act, Hansard, 2 March 1983
  2. ^ S. 1(2)
  3. ^ S. 4
  4. ^ Kerbaj, Richard (16 March 2009). "Thousands of girls mutilated in Britain". Times Online.
  5. ^ Black JA, Debelle GD (June 1995). "Female genital mutilation in Britain". BMJ. 310 (6994): 1590–2. doi:10.1136/bmj.310.6994.1590. PMC 2549951. PMID 7787654.

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