Repeal the Obscene Publications Act of 1959 and 1964

The Obscene Publications Acts prohibit the production of material likely to "deprave and corrupt" those likely to view it. This is applied to all films being processed by the BBFC, especially pornography.

I would also like to see Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 repealed as it prohibits  'extreme pornography' such as BDSM, bestiality and simulated rape – all of which can be produced with the consent of the participants.

Why is this idea important?

The Obscene Publications Acts prohibit the production of material likely to "deprave and corrupt" those likely to view it. This is applied to all films being processed by the BBFC, especially pornography.

I would also like to see Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 repealed as it prohibits  'extreme pornography' such as BDSM, bestiality and simulated rape – all of which can be produced with the consent of the participants.

Repeal the obscene publication act

This supposes that adult public must be protected from material that may  tend to deprave or  corrupt them.  Yet the same material is openly published in many other countries without anyone becoming depraved or corrupted. Offending material has been  available through the internet  and satellite TV for decades, and has not resulted in the mass populous  being depraved  or  corrupted.

Why is this idea important?

This supposes that adult public must be protected from material that may  tend to deprave or  corrupt them.  Yet the same material is openly published in many other countries without anyone becoming depraved or corrupted. Offending material has been  available through the internet  and satellite TV for decades, and has not resulted in the mass populous  being depraved  or  corrupted.

Repeal in part the Coroners and Justice Act 2009

The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 is among the worst pieces of legislation passed by the previous Government. While sections of the Act are primarily “tidying up” exercises and might be preserved, there are two sections of the act that are not compatible with any reasonable ideal of a free society.

The first of these relates to the ability to establish a secret judicial inquiry in place of a public inquest. It is true that in many cases public inquests lack credibility. It is also true that there is, on occasion, a need to preserve the secrecy of information vital to national security. However, the provisions of the Coroners and Justice Act go far beyond these legitimate concerns. The answer to the lack of credibility associated with public inquests does not lie in further secrecy; furthermore, the nature of inquests means that information critical to national security will very rarely, if ever, be exposed.

The other unacceptable provision of this act relates to the criminalisation of the possession of pornographic non-photographic materials depicting minors. Photographic and video child pornography is a genuine horror and its possession and circulation are rightly subjected to strict criminal penalties. While this is a restriction upon the freedom of expression, there is a clear and pressing justification; each image portrays an act of genuine abuse, and is the product of real and sickening suffering on the part of a child. However, in its zeal to be seen as “tough” on such materials, the previous Government allowed itself to be swayed by self-interested lobby groups, and introduced legislation which casts a great deal of doubt upon the legality of material whose production has involved absolutely no human suffering, and whose content is, in a majority of cases, entirely non-pornographic. The importance of comic books and animation, both in their home-grown format, and in the imported form of anime and manga, to both popular and high culture has increased in recent years. The provisions of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 carry a risk of criminalising the possession of material that is considered acceptable, and even of artistic merit, in most of the developed world. The vagueness of the act leaves much of the interpretation to police forces and the judiciary, but this can hardly be considered a satisfactory situation.

Other provisions of the Act are less offensive. The tidying up of laws relating to sedition and libel have some use, and could legitimately be retained. The same applies to the provisions relating to witness anonymity in criminal trials where intimidation is a real concern; the safeguards in place to preserve the rights of the defendant appear, in this case, to be sufficient.

Why is this idea important?

The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 is among the worst pieces of legislation passed by the previous Government. While sections of the Act are primarily “tidying up” exercises and might be preserved, there are two sections of the act that are not compatible with any reasonable ideal of a free society.

The first of these relates to the ability to establish a secret judicial inquiry in place of a public inquest. It is true that in many cases public inquests lack credibility. It is also true that there is, on occasion, a need to preserve the secrecy of information vital to national security. However, the provisions of the Coroners and Justice Act go far beyond these legitimate concerns. The answer to the lack of credibility associated with public inquests does not lie in further secrecy; furthermore, the nature of inquests means that information critical to national security will very rarely, if ever, be exposed.

The other unacceptable provision of this act relates to the criminalisation of the possession of pornographic non-photographic materials depicting minors. Photographic and video child pornography is a genuine horror and its possession and circulation are rightly subjected to strict criminal penalties. While this is a restriction upon the freedom of expression, there is a clear and pressing justification; each image portrays an act of genuine abuse, and is the product of real and sickening suffering on the part of a child. However, in its zeal to be seen as “tough” on such materials, the previous Government allowed itself to be swayed by self-interested lobby groups, and introduced legislation which casts a great deal of doubt upon the legality of material whose production has involved absolutely no human suffering, and whose content is, in a majority of cases, entirely non-pornographic. The importance of comic books and animation, both in their home-grown format, and in the imported form of anime and manga, to both popular and high culture has increased in recent years. The provisions of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 carry a risk of criminalising the possession of material that is considered acceptable, and even of artistic merit, in most of the developed world. The vagueness of the act leaves much of the interpretation to police forces and the judiciary, but this can hardly be considered a satisfactory situation.

Other provisions of the Act are less offensive. The tidying up of laws relating to sedition and libel have some use, and could legitimately be retained. The same applies to the provisions relating to witness anonymity in criminal trials where intimidation is a real concern; the safeguards in place to preserve the rights of the defendant appear, in this case, to be sufficient.