Posted: August 31st, 2016

Does this decision amount to artistic censorship?

Case analysis
1. With what offence were the defendants convicted? Was this a statutory
offence or a common law offence?
2. What consequence(s) flowed from this categorisation?
3. List the grounds of appeal.
4. Taking each ground of appeal in turn, summarise the arguments put forward
by counsel for the Crown as well as counsel for the defendants.
5. What reasons were given by Lord Lane CJ for either accepting or rejecting
these submissions?
6. Lord Lane referred to the ordinary canons of construction (at para a, p.444).
What does this mean? And which particular canon of construction was he
referring to?
7. What constitutes the public ? Would it make a difference if no member of the
public actually complained of being outraged ? 12. Do the police and the press constitute the public ?
8. A number of tabloid newspapers carried photographs of the exhibit on their
front pages in which the earrings could be clearly seen. Should the
newspapers have been charged with the offence?
9 . When an exhibition was staged of the work of Whistler, an artist, at the National Gallery in the 19th century, the art critic, John Ruskin, wrote an article describing Whistler s work as throwing a pot of paint in the face of the public . Today, Whistler is regarded as a major artist and his work is to be found in all major art collections. Perhaps the same view might be taken of
Gibson s view in 100 year s time? In this context, consider Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, below. Could it be argued that this decision is a breach of Article 10? Does this decision amount to artistic censorship?
European Convention on Human Rights 1950, Article 10

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