[29th July 1959] Annotations: Modifications etc. “Learning” is to take its normal meaning of “being the product of scholarship, something with inherent excellence gained by the work of a scholar” [DPP v. Jordan (1977) A.C. 699]. It is useful to remember that the people who reach a view on this may hold more conservative views than your own. 1. Famously (and unsuccessfully), used to attempt to ban publication of Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover in 1960, it has a chequered history in efforts to ban material dreamed by the state to be obscene. To succeed with this defence, the court or jury must be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the publication was made for the public good. Obscene Publications Act 1959 1959 CHAPTER 66 7 and 8 Eliz 2 An Act to amend the law relating to the publication of obscene matter; to provide for the protection of literature; and to strengthen the law concerning pornography. The Girls' and Women's Protection Act 1920. Be aware that you must bring your claim as soon as possible and in any event no later than three months after the decision you are challenging. "(1) For the purposes of this act an article shall be deemed to be obscene if its effect or (where the article comprises two or more distinct items) the effect of any one of its items is, if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it. The effects of such transgressions attach themselves to artists, and may include financial burdens, stress from stigma or ridicule and institutional blacklisting. Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography However, it is possible to apply for a claim to be heard quickly if there are good grounds to do so. The decision might be documented as follows: Footnotes The Obscene Publications Act (OPA) 1964 is a short piece of English legislation providing minor additional provisions in addition to the Obscene Publications Act 1959, which is the primary statute in this area.. 1 Obscene articles intended for publication for gain. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.” (Redmond-Bate v Director of Public Prosecutions, 1999). (See the section on the OPA above regarding definitions of “deprave” and “corrupt”.) The packs have been made possible by generous pro-bono support from lawyers at Bindmans LLP, Clifford Chance, Doughty Street, Matrix Chambers and Brick Court. Plus, see what some of your favorite '90s stars look like now. Second, the act must be in public view, accessible or within view of the public so it is capable of being seen by at least one person, and it must be in the presence of two or more people, regardless of whether they actually witness the act or are outraged by it. Obscene Publications Act, in British law, either of two codifications of prohibitions against obscene literature adopted in 1857 and in much revised form in 1959. [29th July 1959] Annotations: Modifications etc. Guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on summary. Obscene Publications Act 1959 1959 CHAPTER 66 7 and 8 Eliz 2 An Act to amend the law relating to the publication of obscene matter; to provide for the protection of literature; and to strengthen the law concerning pornography. Famously (and unsuccessfully), used to attempt to ban publication of Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover in 1960, it has a chequered history in efforts to ban material dreamed by the state to be obscene. Decisions of the CPS can be influenced by making written representations about the evidence, any defences such as “public good” and the lack of public interest in prosecuting, which may include reliance on Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. “Gain” is broadly defined. The accused would need to prove that publication or other public presentation was justifiably in the public good, having weighed all these factors. This is particularly important where controversial works are to be presented in small, rural or conservative communities where there is a greater risk of causing offence or where police officers are unused to the concept of freedom of expression in art. For the purposes of the Acts, obscenity is not limited to pornographic or sexually corrupting material: a book advocating drug taking or violence, for instance, may be obscene. The 1959 did, however, repeal the 1857 Act and became the main Act dealing with obscene publications. sess. ANNO SEXTO DECIMO. A. the Obscene Publications Act 1959, as amended by section 1 (1) of the Obscene Publications Act 1964, two summonses against the applicant for the following offences: (a) on 31 March 1971 having in his possession 1,069 obscene books entitled "The Little Red Schoolbook" for publication for gain; A. Obscene publications were, historically, something for the canon law; the first prosecution in a court of common law was not until 1727. The gallery could seek to argue that the work is not obscene and will not “deprave” or “corrupt” those likely to see it. Obscene Publication Act 1964 (c74) Obscene articles intended for publication for gain (1) [Amends the Obscene Publications Act 1959, above.] The usual way of doing so would be via judicial review. Q. Section 45 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 amends the definition of child. Publishing an “obscene” article is a criminal offence. The theatre is known for working in partnership. We might close our eyes or avert our gazes, fall fainting on the floor, intervene somehow, turn vandal or leave. The feeling of the work’s proximity might seem akin to being slapped in the face, held by the scruff or punched in the gut. For legal reasons, conveying information to the police about the purposes of a work, and a willingness to consider alternatives, will be relevant to the reasonableness test. There will be an opportunity to influence police investigations by preparing well for interviews and ensuring that the police have access to all the relevant evidence that may assist. There is a slightly different “public good” defence for performances, films and soundtracks. , Engagement with the press and individual complaints. The police can arrest and/or interview under caution people they believe to have committed criminal offences. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary. . We recognise the privilege of living in a country where creating, exhibiting, and experiencing such work is protected by fundamental human rights enshrined in UK law. Q. for an offence against this section shall not be commenced more than two years after the commission of the offence. In general is it a good idea to cooperate with the police? The police can seize work under search warrants or as evidence for future prosecution. But the laws and practices that protect and nurture free expression are often poorly understood both by practitioners and by those enforcing the law. An Act to make further provisions for the prevention and suppression of obscene and indecent publications; to establish a State Advisory Committee on Publications; for these and other purposes to amend the Obscene and Indecent Publications Act … But consistent with our fundamental commitment to freedom of expression, we do not censor exhibitions in response to political or ideological pressure. Q. The law itself is often contradictory, and even the rights that underpin the laws are fraught with qualifications that can potentially undermine artistic free expression. Yet the conviction that an artist must be free to explore the limits of one’s personal and collective possibility can slip into cliché, or obscure the possibility that my freedom may sometimes impinge on the freedoms of others – curtailing, say, a viewer’s right to remain safe from personal discomfort, psychological upset, intolerance or hate, or the supposed dangers of moral turpitude. 66.] As of 2008 these latter two Obscene Publications Acts are still in … The 1959 Act sets out the legal test for obscenity and creates certain offences and defences. They define the legal bounds of obscenity in England and Wales, and are used to enforce the removal of obscene material. The Theatres Act 1968 applies a similar definition of obscenity to plays and performances. It is illegal to publish a work which is obscene. Please refer to the pack regarding child protection law for more information. This is something that may not be obvious to some non-specialist police officers, though reference to the Metropolitan Police Arts & Antiquities unit or officers dealing with conventional pornography, may be of assistance when contextualising and explaining the work’s importance. There would be court fees for filing the review, as well as the need to pay legal costs to their own lawyers (unless acting pro bono) and the risk of being required to pay legal costs for the opposing party if they succeed. It will be useful to establish the reasons why the police are making such a recommendation, and important to understand what criteria the police will apply when deciding whether to take further action later. Freedom of expression, as outlined in Article 10, is a qualified right, meaning considerations regarding its protection must be balanced against other rights and interests. Show Summary Details. Appendix I: Documenting and explaining a decision. Irish law diverged from English law in 1929, replacing the OPA 1857 with a new Irish act. (5) References in section 3 of the Obscene Publications Act 1959 and this section to publication for gain shall apply to any publication with a view to gain, whether the gain is to accrue by way of consideration for the publication or in any other way. We have considered whether or not our advertising material should contain warnings that the exhibition contains images which are sexually explicit. They could consider agreeing to take the work down voluntarily pending a discussion about the merits of the work. Request PDF | On Jan 1, 2015, Kate Cook and others published Obscene Publications Act 1964 | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate. The Births, Marriages and Deaths Registration Act 1983. Fanny Hill: Obscene Publications Act . A. liable to a. This publication is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. This article shall not prevent states from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises. Under Section 2(1) of the OPA 1959 there are two kinds of offences relating to publishing obscene material. Claims may take many months to be heard. , Review (media and other) reactions to recent artworks with an awareness that the work will be judged against current recognised standards of propriety and decency, which is a fluid test. Obscene Publications Acts 1959, as amended by the Obscene Publications Act 1964. The prospect of a police investigation alone will be a matter of substantial press interest, while an actual prosecution, although unlikely in the professional arts sector, would nevertheless result in grave consequences for the gallery and the artist. “Article”: “any description of article containing or e… A willingness to make contingency preparations to manage the risk of any disorder, and subject to the imperative of ensuring that the artistic work is not unduly constrained. The 1959 Act sets out the legal test for obscenity and creates certain offences and defences. This will help you prepare a stronger case for arguing that prosecution would not be in the public interest if police investigation or charges are possible. If an investigation begins before the work is shown, those involved in its proposed presentation may face charges such as conspiracy to outrage public decency, possession of extreme pornographic images or being in possession of an obscene article for publication for gain. Hence reactions they prompt – from individuals, communities, institutions, the media or the state – may themselves be profoundly physical, visceral and emotional, redoubling the perceived extremity of the initial provocation. You should seek specialist legal advice before bringing your claim. Does “artistic merit” impact the extent to which an artist’s freedom of expression will be protected? How do the CPS and the courts decide if an image is obscene? Section 1(1) of the Obscene Publications Act (OPA) 1959 describes an “obscene” item as one that has the effect of tending to deprave and corrupt persons likely to read, see or hear it. Judicial review is not ordinarily an effective means of quickly overturning decisions. obscene publications act summary The Obscene Publications Act 1959 1964 makes it illegal to publish. Censorship of the arts in the UK results from a wide range of competing interests – public safety and public order, religious sensibilities and corporate interests. If the CPS decide that there is enough evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, they will then need to consider if it is in the public interest to prosecute, taking into consideration the right to freedom of expression and the competing rights of all involved. There is a public interest in freedom of artistic expression itself and we consider that this is work of value which should be seen exhibited and viewed so as to further an important debate. 1(a) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding [the prescribed sum] or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months; (b) on conviction on indictment to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both. Noté /5. Section 4provides for the defence of “public good”. A i by inserting in section three at the end of the definition.This Act may be cited as the Obscene Publications wtitla. The festival is well respected and recognised as supporting challenging and risk-taking work. It is more likely that a gallery or artist will be permitted to display controversial works if they are well known and if it is generally considered that the work has artistic merit. (See Appendix 1 for an example of written record). . The Obscene Publications Act (OPA) 1964 is a short piece of English legislation providing minor additional provisions in addition to the Obscene Publications Act 1959, which is the primary statute in this area. The artistic purposes of an organisation. Free expression rights remain protected by UK common law, but it is unclear to what extent more recent developments in the law based on Article 10 would still apply, Five areas of law covered in this series of information packs. There are currently no known outstanding effects for the Obscene Publications Act 1964. Nothing you publish online is 100% private! Obscene Publications Act (1857; 1959 and 1977 [revised]) British North America Act (1867) Ballot Act (1872) Indian Evidence Act (1872) Judicature Act of 1873. Background. Lady Chatterley's Lover is a novel by English author D. H. Lawrence, first published privately in 1928 in Italy and in 1929 in France. This prosecution guidance seeks to assist prosecutors when considering allegations involving the Obscene Publications Act 1959. As a matter of good practice you might want to prepare a commitment to artistic and intellectual freedom of expression. “Publish” is widely defined in Section 1(3) of the OPA and includes distributing, circulating, selling, hiring, giving, lending, showing, playing, projecting and electronic transmission. Unfortunately, the concept of what is indecent or obscene is not clearly or succinctly defined in UK law and many of the applicable laws are couched in oblique terms and leave scope for subjectivity, especially as behaviour will be judged against prevailing standards.
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