MARTIN Bowley QC is to spearhead a drive by the Bar Lesbian and Gay Group to draft a new sexual offences bill.
Bowley, a former treasurer of the Bar Council, was due to officially announce the move at at a London conference for lesbian and gay lawyers, "Making the Difference", on Saturday, after The Lawyer went to press.
"I hope we can produce a well-researched, fully-drafted document ready to be placed on the Home Secretary's desk," said Bowley, who is president of the group, and is proposing a "gender-neutral" reform bill based on sexual equality.
In a unique venture, Bowley's group teamed up with the Lesbian and Gay Lawyers
Association to stage the conference. A day of debate, discussion and workshops on criminal law reform, lesbian and gay parenting, immigration, employment, property and succession law was scheduled to end with a debate on same sex marriages.
Dutch lawyer Astrid Mattijssen, Mark Harper, partner at Anthony Gold Lerman & Muirhead, Outrage's Peter Tatchell and, Gillian Rodgerson, the editor of Diva, were due to speak at the conference.