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The term act or intercourse against nature was mentioned in two judgments of the Lebanese Court of Cassation, within the frame of a sexual act through the anus between a man and a woman. In the first case, the court considered that the sexual act occurred with the woman´s consent, and as such convicted the male defendant on the basis of article 534 of the Penal Code. In the second case, whereby the use of violence, threat and coercion was proved, the court convicted the two male defendants on the basis of article 507 – committing an act against decency using violence or threat – whereupon, after having excluded the act of rape, it considered that any act against nature is considered an act of indecency.1

In the proceedings of the first case:2

Whereas in her statement the accuser had testified that the defendant had sex with her by force, whereas she later dropped her charges, and whereas on being as a witness, it was revealed that she had left the country,

And whereas the defendant had stated in the initial investigation that he had laid the maid on her stomach and placed his penis in between her thighs,

And whereas he had reiterated in the third page of the interrogation what he had stated in the initial investigation, clarifying that he had placed his penis in between her thighs from behind,

And whereas the forensic doctor who examined the accuser had presented a report stating that there had been no traces of contusions, beatings or violence on any part of the body, and that he had detected no trace of bruising or redness or bleeding in or around any of the genital organs, and that the hymen had been broken since a long time and that he had been unable to find any tangible evidence of intercourse,

And whereas the defendant insisted that what had happened with the accuser who later dropped her charges had been carried out with her consent,

In the court's reasoning:

Whereas the court, after examining the investigations and both the accuser's and the defendant's statements in all stages of the litigation and in all documents including the doctor´s report, considered that while it was not unequivocally certain that the defendant had coerced the accuser to perform an act against decency it was nevertheless established, through her, that he had performed intercourse against nature with the accuser; an act punishable under article 534
x. ,


For these reasons, the court ruled to convict the defendant according to article 534 and to sentence him to one year in prison, including the arresting period.3

In the proceedings of the second case:

And while *** was driving around with her (male) friend *** in the said neighborhood, and happened to park by the side of the road, they were suddenly pounced upon by ***, who at gunpoint forced and locked the friend *** into the trunk of a car, and then led the girl to a secluded place where he forced her to undress and proceeded to perform on her the act against decency from behind until he reached climax, whether he had or had not penetrated her with her penis, or whether he had placed it in between her thighs.

In the court's reasoning:

“And whereas, from one side, forcing her by the use of violence, threat and coercion to undress and then to insinsuate his genital organ into her from behind or place it in between her thighs to the point of climax, applies to the provisions of article 507 x. and not to those of article 503 x., which criminalizes rape […] using the term “intercourse” as a translation of the original French term “acte sexuel”, and as such is still attached to the prevailing point of view of the French doctrine and jurisprudence that limits rape to the natural physiological sexual act between a man and a woman using coercion of violence, in line with philosophical reflections that delegates the role of women to nothing more than the triple equation of marriage, family founding and childbearing in order to avoid introducing illegitimate births in families;

Thus the case of a forced intercourse using violent coercion. i.e. rape, is not presented except by the illicit conjunction of the male and female sexual organs (“conjonction illicite des sexes”), i.e. the penis and vagina, and as such any act “against nature” of any sort shall be considered an act against indecency.

text

  • Nayla Geagea

date

  • 1996 - 2004

location

  • Lebanon

is a lawyer and researcher who contributed to the study entitled Homosexuals in the Penal Code, led by Nizar Saghieh in cooperation with Helem. In 2011, she worked at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, before returning to Lebanon to work on vulnerable groups rights such as forms of discrimination against women in Lebanese Personal Status religious laws and legal protection for Syrians who cannot achieve refugee status in Lebanon.

— ARTICLE: Case #2: Indecencies
— EVENT: The Manufacturing of Rights

is a lawyer and researcher who contributed to the study entitled Homosexuals in the Penal Code, led by Nizar Saghieh in cooperation with Helem. In 2011, she worked at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, before returning to Lebanon to work on vulnerable groups rights such as forms of discrimination against women in Lebanese Personal Status religious laws and legal protection for Syrians who cannot achieve refugee status in Lebanon.

— ARTICLE: Case #2: Indecencies
— EVENT: The Manufacturing of Rights

1. Joscelyn Gardner, Cinchona pubescens (Nago Hanah), 2011
Hand-colored lithograph on frosted mylar
36” x 24”
2. Reference 1 – Cassandre, Issue number 2, year 2004, pages 113 – 114, verdict 17/2004 date 29-01-2004, cassation judgment, courtroom 7, director Ali Ouaida, counselors Samir Matar and Hassan Mortada.
3. Nayla Geagea presents the case in Arabic at "The Manufacturing of Rights" conference on May 15, 2015
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