Obscene Publications Acts  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Since 1857, a series of obscenity laws known as the Obscene Publications Acts have governed what can be published in England and Wales. The classic definition of criminal obscenity is if it "tends to deprave and corrupt," stated in 1868 by John Duke Coleridge, 1st Baron Coleridge.

There have been several Acts of Parliament of this name:

Of these, only the 1959 and 1964 acts are still in force in England and Wales, as amended by more recent legislation. They define the legal bounds of obscenity in England and Wales, and are used to enforce the censorship of obscene material. Irish law diverged from English law in 1929, replacing the OPA 1857 with a new Irish act; see Irish statutes relating to censorship.

Important events in the recent history of the Obscene Publications Act have included:

Scottish prohibitions on obscene material are to be found in section 51 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Obscene Publications Acts" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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