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Advice on Obscenity

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Our leading solicitors are renowned for their specialist knowledge and practice in the area of obscenity and freedom of speech. We're possibly the only law firm in the United Kingdom to specialise in this niche area of law.

At Hodge Jones & Allen, we believe that censorship must only be used in the most exceptional circumstances and should be robustly challenged.

HJA Chambers firm logo 2024 PNGOur Crime team have been ranked in the Chambers & Partners 2024 legal directory. The team was described as “extremely strong in terms of criminal defence and particularly protest cases” and were praised for their “dedication to clients”.

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“Hodge Jones & Allen are possibly the best firm of criminal solicitors conducting publicly funded work, and also offer an excellent service to privately funded clients. They have a large team that has continually prospered through recruiting excellent trainees and investing in people.” – Legal 500, 2024

The law on obscenity

The law here on obscenity is contained in the Obscene Publications Act 1959 and the archaic test is whether an item would ‘tend to deprave or corrupt’ its viewer. This is effectively the same law that was used to prosecute Penguin Books in the ‘Lady Chatterley’ trial and similar to that used in the infamous ‘Oz’ trial.

Whilst society and standards have changed drastically since the 1950s, this law is still used to criminalise those who the authorities think have overstepped the mark. Whilst we recognise that such material may be controversial, we believe that censorship must be robustly challenged in the courts and only used in the most exceptional circumstances.

 

We have acted in groundbreaking cases defending the rights of the individual. This includes the case of R v GS in which the Court of Appeal determined that internet ‘chat’ between two people was publication of material and therefore falls within the Obscene Publications Act 1959 – a worrying decision concerning personal privacy.

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Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen?

We regularly advise both individuals and businesses on the law surrounding obscenity. Our experienced Criminal Defence solicitors are independently recognised by legal directories as leading lawyers in their field, whilst we’re unique in specialising in the niche area of law surrounding obscenity.

We have advised radical artists and galleries on the contents of their works and magazines on whether their materials contravene the legislation.

We frequently assist businesses, including those in the adult industry, by reviewing their products and advertising materials and providing reassurance to banks or backers that that they have not inadvertently broken the law.

Contact us for expert legal advice on obscenity on
0330 822 3451
or request a call back.
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