Niche Practice in Obscenity Law
Myles is the Law Society Junior Lawyer of the Year 2012-2013 award winner and is the only solicitor in the country professing to specialise in sexual liberties and obscenity law. Myles has been instrumental in challenging the legal framework in which sexual morality is represented through campaigning, activism, litigation and advocacy.
Myles successfully represented Simon Walsh in his #PornTrial prosecution (for the alleged possession of “extreme pornography” - under s63 CJIA 2008); and Michael Peacock in his #ObscenityTrial prosecution (for the alleged publication of “obscene” articles - under the OPA 1959). Whilst both defendants were found Not Guilty, their prosecutions raised significant issues regarding privacy, free speech and rights to sexual representation and liberty.
Myles also represented extreme pornography defendants Andrew Holland (in the Mold “Tiger Porn” case); where the prosecution dropped the case; and Kevin Webster (in a test case trial at the Stafford Crown Court) where he was found Not Guilty; as well as the defendant in the landmark Court of Appeal obscenity decision in R v GS.
Myles has also obtained a significant number of police cautions for clients who have been interviewed at the police station for possessing extreme pornography and prohibited images (dangerous cartoons); a conditional discharge at the Magistrates’ Court for a client who admitted possessing extreme pornography; and managed to persuade the police to take No Further Action for two separate clients who were in possession of self made “needle-porn”
Advisory Practice in Obscenity Law
Myles also provides a bespoke private client service in obscenity law and has practical experience of advising: book publishers (literary text and art prints); magazine publishers (pornographic and listings directories); modern artists, galleries and live performance exhibitions(regarding art and obscenity law); and adult industry performers, artists and trade bodies on compliance and publication issues (including BBFC R-18 submissions.
Myles made legal history as the first ever solicitor to be granted permission to live-tweet a criminal trial as it unfolded. Myles blogs and tweet on obscenity issues as @ObscenityLawyer and wrote two well-received articles on #ObscenityTrial and #PornTrial for The Guardian. Myles has appeared on The BBC’s Moral Maze; Radio 4 News; and Law in Action; as well as The Channel 4 News, discussing obscenity issues. Myles has also been interviewed and quoted on the subject by: The Guardian, Observer, Independent, Mail, New Statesman, Evening Standard, Scotsman on Sunday, Economist, VICE magazine and various legal publications including The Law Society Gazette. Myles has also lectured on the subject for the Obscenity Network, The Southwark LGTBQ Network, Mutiny and the Libertarian Alliance and at various legal, academic and industry conferences.
Myles is available for media appearances, written articles and comment, upon request.
Myles had provided pro-bono advice for the following campaigns:
Sexual Liberties: Backlash, English Collective of Prostitutes; International Union of Sex Workers; Sex Workers Open University; Adult Industry Trade Association; Boris Keep Your Promise (the London rape crisis centre funding campaign).
Protest Groups: NO2ID (the successful anti-surveillance and anti identity-card campaign); and the Open Rights Group (protecting digital rights).
Legal Observation: I have co-ordinated legal observation on demonstrations by The Slutwalk (the global rape anti victim-blaming awareness movement); NO2ID; ORG; and The Police Federation.
Myles is a Higher Court Advocate and displays a calm and confident approach to appearing in the Crown Court and Magistrates' Court representing defendants charged with offences from theft of a Mars bar to international hijacking. Myles also remains utterly committed to Legal Aid work and prides himself on his client care skills, approachability and inclusivity. Myles also has a personal interest in the issues surrounding protest law; mental health issues in the criminal justice system; and sexual liberties.
"In extreme pornography I would advise anyone to take legal advice – and if possible get it from Myles Jackman. His expertise and commitment to justice offer the best chance of a fair solution to these often bullying and inappropriate prosecutions".
You can follow Myles on Twitter at @ObscenityLawyer
R v Walsh – The defendant was tried for possessing a very small quantity of self-made extreme pornography of fisting and urethral sounding; and was found Not Guilty by the jury. Myles live-tweeted the trial, which was also widely covered in the media and the defendant gave a dignified performance on BBC Newsnight; alongside the CPS’ Alison Saunders who attempted to justify the prosecution. The CPS’ Guidelines on extreme pornography wer subsequently updated in the light of this oppressive, unjust and illiberal prosecution.
R v Peacock – The defendant was tried for publishing supposedly obscene DVD’s of male fisting, urination and BDSM; and was found Not Guilty by the jury. Despite being widely reported and commented upon in the media, the CPS have not yet updated their Guidance on the OPA in the light of this jury decision.
R v GS – Landmark Court of Appeal decision extending publication under the OPA to private, one-to-one, sexual fantasy text chat via the internet; potentially criminalising millions of adults. The defendant decided not to take the case to The Supreme Court after the Crown Court Judge indicated that he would be sentenced to a community order.
R v Webster – The defendant was unanimously acquitted after the first extreme pornography test-case trial. The defendant contacted Myles directly after being misadvised by local solicitors. The material in question was "fake-snuff" pornography, which was described by a defence expert as "less realistic than most British soap-operas".
R v Holland – Described by the media as the "Tiger Porn" case. Holland pleaded Guilty based on legal advice from a local barrister for possessing supposed "genital mutilation" pornography. He contacted Myles directly and was allowedto change hisplea back to Not Guilty. The Prosecution finally dropped the case before re-Trial after Myles proved that the video in question was actually a notorious hoax which was manufactured with make-up, prosthetics and special effects.