People are poking fun at The Times after it described the Offences Against the Person Act as a ‘Victorian-era law’

Avatar photo

By Thomas Connelly on

‘They’ll have a fit when they discover where common law offences come from’

Social media users couldn’t resist indulging in a spot of Twitter-based teasing yesterday after The Times newspaper called a piece of well-known criminal legislation a “Victorian-era law”.

The description, spotted by 1KBW’s James Turner QC, appears in a short report about a 16-year-old male accused of carrying out six acid attacks in London last month.

The boy, who can’t be named for legal reasons, is facing 13 charges, six under the widely known Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (OAPA). This piece of legislation covers everything from GBH to minor assaults and features at the very beginning of LLB syllabuses.

Cue the jokes, starting with Michael Brown, a police inspector and mental health expert:

The common law is very, very old:

*Irony klaxon*


Apparently, divorce law actually dates back to the Age of Aquarius:

Though the OAPA has been and still is the go-to legislation for criminal assaults, The Times’ report appears to feed into the recent calls for new acid attack-focused laws. A spate of assaults using corrosive substances has prompted the likes of Theresa May and Sadiq Khan to float tougher sentencing guidelines and statutory reform, rather than rely on legislation enacted when acid attacks were less prevalent.

Some Twitter users don’t seem on board with this:

For others it was all just too much:

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub.