decriminalization

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decriminalization

n. the repeal or amendment (undoing) of statutes which made certain acts criminal, so that those acts no longer are crimes or subject to prosecution. Many states have decriminalized certain sexual practices between consenting adults, "loitering," (hanging out without any criminal activity), or out-moded racist laws against miscegenation (marriage or cohabitation between people of different races). Currently, there is a considerable movement toward decriminalization of the use of some narcotics (particularly marijuana) by adults, on various grounds, including individual rights and contention that decriminalization would take the profit out of the drug trade by making drugs available through clinics and other legal sources.

References in periodicals archive ?
"Research into over 25 jurisdictions across the world that have implemented decriminalisation shows that, when done well, decriminalisation can bring excellent social, economic and health benefits to society.
All three parties promised to enact a decriminalisation of homosexuality giving a timeframe of one to two months.
Anjali Gopalan, the founder and executive director of Naz Foundation Trust, said decriminalisation will help sex workers to be more assertive about condom use.
Decriminalisation of parking is earmarked to come into operation during 2007.
Mr Chohan said: "Although it is not possible to consider Church Lane at the present time, it could be added to the city council's list of such requests for consideration following the introduction of decriminalisation of parking enforcement."
Switching from police control to local council enforcement under the guise of decriminalisation was heralded as something motorists would welcome.
"The example of Holland comes up very clearly in the report, showing that after 20 years of soft drug decriminalisation in Holland, they have fewer users of both soft and hard drugs and they use those drugs in milder forms and in safer ways than we do here."
Portugal was mentioned again and again as a nation that hauled itself out of a drug death crisis by decriminalisation.
The case for decriminalisation is being supported by scientists, police officers and academics who claim that current policies have little sustained impact in the war on suppliers.
Mr Cameron admitted he had supported limited decriminalisation in the past but added: "I've said all sorts of things on drugs policy.
The 'decriminalisation' scheme, where wardens will work for the council not the police, is one of Labour's big ideas.