152 - 2 - c: "Anyone who lets a male have intercourse with him or her contrary to the laws of nature is considered to have committed a crime and shall be punished with imprisonment for ten years"

(Note that section 152 - 1 - c, which refers to statutory (rape), mentions sodomy explicitly: "had illegal intercourse or commited sodomy with a boy under the age of 16" )


1 Answer 1


Seemingly not.

Here is apparently an English version of the same document (p. 35, numbered 1005; sexual and unnatural offences):

CHAPTER XVII. OFFENCES AGAINST MORALITY. 151. For the purpose of this chapter any house, room or set of rooms in any house which is occupied or frequented by two or more females for the purpose of prostitution shall be deemed to be a brothel. 152.—(1) Any person who :- (a) has unlawful sexual intercourse with a female against her will by the use of force or threats of death or severe bodily harm, or when she is in a state of unconsciousness or otherwise incapable of resisting; or (b) commits an act of sodomy with any person against his will by the use of force or threats of death or severe bodily harm, or when he is in a state of unconsciousness or otherwise incapable of resisting; or (c) has unlawful sexual intercourse or commits an act of sodomy with a child under the age of sixteen years, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years: Provided that it shall be a sufficient defence to any charge of having unlawful sexual intercourse wTith a female under paragraph (c) of this sub-section if it shall be made to appear to the court before which the charge shall be brought that the person so charged had reasonable cause to believe that the female was of or above the age of sixteen years. (2) Any person who:— (a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or (6) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or (c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for ten years.


  • statutory rape of a female younger than 16 under, while treated harshly as a felony punishable by 14 years imprisonment under s152(1)(c), nonetheless required mens rea as to victim’s age rather than strict liability.
  • 152(2)(a, c) proscribe what they appear to euphemistically describe as “carnal knowledge against the order of nature,” which they indeed sanction with liability to imprisonment for 10 years as felonies.
  • 152(1)(a, b) freely make explicit references to sexual intercourse and sodomy respectively, without any apparently perceived need to obfuscate them with the use of such euphemistic expressions.
  • These all taken together suggest on one hand a degree of mercy and measuredness in the penal code as written, and on another that carnal knowledge against the order of nature doesn’t actually refer to sodomy as such.

The question is then what is referred to by “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”.

Further reading: https://www.michaelkirby.com.au/images/stories/speeches/2000s/2011/2540-ARTICLE-JOURNAL-COMMONWEALTH-CRIMINAL-LAW.pdf

  • 1
    That code is from 1936 for Mandate Palestina, and is not necessarily in power in the State of Palestine of 2023 - and even if the general laws are still there, nothing says that that section is still in force at all. This is especially problematic, since the palestine basic law enshrines Sharia, which in turn illegalizes some acts.
    – Trish
    Oct 30, 2023 at 20:41
  • @ohwilleke why did you delete your answer? Was it upon realising that Wikipedia had some errors? I personally wouldn’t be so inclined to trust Wikipedia on such a contentious topic. Oct 30, 2023 at 21:41
  • @trish okay well it sounds like you might have the makings of a superior answer. I’m waiting to read it. Oct 30, 2023 at 21:42
  • That's a pretty generous interpretation. I would think their interpretation would rather be that "carnal knowledge against the order of nature" casts a wider net that just "sodomy".
    – jcaron
    Oct 31, 2023 at 0:07
  • @Seekinganswers I do not. I just know that the situation in the area is very much more complicated than it appears to be at first blush.
    – Trish
    Oct 31, 2023 at 0:22

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