Both farcical and worrying

“Whatever the result at Kingston Crown Court, there remains on the statute book a dreadful piece of legislation and a CPS very ready to exercise its discretion to prosecute even when the images are of adult consensual sexual activity”.

“There is something both farcical and worrying in the way the state wishes to regulate mere possession of pornography in these circumstances.”

So says the noted legal correspondent of the New Statesman, responsible for “a critical and liberal look at law and policy”.

In An “extreme” prosecution? he explains the offence in the infamous “Tiger porn” case is being used again.

“The campaign group Backlash has now intervened in a number of other misconveived and illiberal prosecutions, and Myles Jackman has managed to prevent a number of miscarriages of justice. Myles continues to be a credit to the legal profession for his work in this area. But it should not come down to a pressure group and a fine lawyer to stop the bad application of a bad law.”

“It is in the public interest to consider the merits of the law itself, whatever is decided in this particular case. The “extreme pornography” offence is perhaps the most illiberal piece of legislation ever enacted by Parliament. It was promoted by a Labour government with the support of the then Conservative opposition. The offence has not had a happy history.”