Disclaimer: This work was produced by one of our expert legal writers, as a learning aid to help law students with their studies.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of LawTeacher.net. Any information contained in this case summary does not constitute legal advice and should be treated as educational content only.

Shaw v DPP - 1962

323 words (1 pages) Case Summary

28th Sep 2021 Case Summary Reference this In-house law team

Jurisdiction / Tag(s): UK Law

Legal Case Summary

Shaw v DPP [1962] AC 220

Conspiracy to Corrupt Public Morals – Prostitution – Public Morals – Court’s Ability to Create New Offence


The defendant created magazines, which contained personal adverts for prostitutes. This included their personal contact details, photographs and descriptions of their services. The solicitation of prostitution was now illegal by virtue of the Street Offences Act 1959. The defendant also received money from the prostitutes for the directory; thus, he was living on the earnings of prostitutes. The defendant was convicted of conspiracy to corrupt public morals, as well as acting contrary to s30 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 (living on the earnings of prostitution) and s2 of the Obscene Publications act 1959 (publishing an obscene article).


The defendant appealed the conviction of conspiracy to corrupt public morals, arguing that this was not a charge recognised by the law of England. The issue for the Court was whether there was a charge of conspiracy to corrupt public morals and if the court had the discretion to create such an offence.


The appeal was dismissed and the conviction was upheld. The Court found the defendant’s decision to feature prostitute adverts in his magazines as dangerous to the welfare of society and it was their duty to protect the public majority’s morals, as well as safety and order. This meant that the Court was able to create offences in order to adapt to changing standards in life and in regard to the values and morals of society. Thus, this case created the new offence of conspiracy to corrupt public morals and established that an offence that was not written in criminal statute could be recognised as a legal charge.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

Related Content

Jurisdictions / Tags

Content relating to: "UK Law"

UK law covers the laws and legislation of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Essays, case summaries, problem questions and dissertations here are relevant to law students from the United Kingdom and Great Britain, as well as students wishing to learn more about the UK legal system from overseas.

Related Articles