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21 January 2014

ARTICLE: John Waugh on "‘A Gang of Judicial Assassins’: George Bateson and Colonial Sodomy Laws"

John Waugh's "‘A Gang of Judicial Assassins’: George Bateson and Colonial Sodomy Laws", in Legal History e-Journal, vol. 18, n. 4






Abstract

One night in November 1860, Melbourne police burst into the room where George Bateson, a 42-year-old Englishman, was in bed with a young man. Bateson was arrested and later convicted of sodomy. In prison, he poured out his outrage in a long series of letters in which he claimed to be the innocent victim of a conspiracy. This paper puts Bateson’s case in its legal context by outlining the laws that applied to sex between men in colonial Australia, and considers two highly unusual aspects of the case: the police entrapment of Bateson, and the cache of letters in which he gives his version of the events leading to his conviction. 

Article available for free download here

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