Citizens Advice Bureau


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LOCAL INFORMATION
4.6.0.L13
Obscenity

Extent: Jersey
Updated 23 December 2013
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Copied from a memo from the Law Officers' Department

There is no statutory equivalent in Jersey to the UK Obscene Publications Act. Publishing obscene material is therefore a common law offence. In Carpenter v constable of St Clement (1972) it was said:-

"It is not disputed that -

1. the publication of obscene material, whether it be a book, photograph, film or any other material, is an offence known to the criminal law of Jersey"

The test of obscenity is "that which has a tendency to deprave and corrupt". In the UK the essence of moral corruption has been defined by the courts as that which makes a person behave badly, or worse than he otherwise would have done, or blurs his perception of the difference between good and bad.

In practical terms, if a person wishes to complain about a particular publication offered for sale they should initially refer the matter to the Police who may seek the views of the Attorney General on the question or not proceedings should be instituted.