R v Peacock: landmark trial redefines obscenity law

Antoniou, Alexandros ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4249-0939 (2013) R v Peacock: landmark trial redefines obscenity law. Graduate Journal of Social Science, 10 (1). pp. 85-103. ISSN 1572-3763

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The acquittal of Michael Peacock, who was charged with distributing DVDs featuring male fisting, urination and sado-masochism, has cast doubt on the English obscenity law. The ‘deprave and corrupt’ test under the Obscene Publications Act 1959 has been controversial since its inception in England and Wales. One of the strengths of the 1959 Act is its ability for juries to recognise changing moral standards in accordance with modern social values. While such content has been found in the past to be capable of debasing and destroying the moral purity of its likely audience, the question put before the jury in R v Peacock was if this is the case nowadays. For some, the not guilty verdict represents a victory for freedom of expression and the end of an era; for others, moral degeneration. This article provides a more perceptive view of the implications of the Peacock outcome. It argues that we have not seen the demise of obscenity yet. On the contrary, more insidious obscenity provisions have replaced the ‘archaic’ 1959 Act and more censorship laws with real teeth are likely to be just over the horizon.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2013 Graduate Journal of Social Science.
Keywords: Obscenity, pornography
Subjects: Law and criminal justice > Criminal justice
Law and criminal justice > Criminal justice > Criminology
Law and criminal justice > Law
Depositing User: Alexandros Antoniou
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2016 07:12
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:45
URI: https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2467


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