- Latest available (Revised)
- Original (As enacted)
There are outstanding changes not yet made by the legislation.gov.uk editorial team to Obscene Publications Act 1959. Any changes that have already been made by the team appear in the content and are referenced with annotations.
Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. Changes and effects are recorded by our editorial team in lists which can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. Where those effects have yet to be applied to the text of the legislation by the editorial team they are also listed alongside the legislation in the affected provisions. Use the ‘more’ link to open the changes and effects relevant to the provision you are viewing.
This section lists the commencement orders yet to be applied to the whole Act. These effects are included in this view as they may be (but won’t necessarily be) relevant to the specific provision that you are viewing. Where applicable the commencement orders are listed under two headings, firstly those that bring some part of the Act you are viewing into force and secondly, those that bring into force legislation that affects some part of the legislation you are viewing. If you are viewing a prospective version or there is a prospective version available there may be commencement orders listed here that are relevant to the provision you are viewing.
(1)Subject as hereinafter provided, any person who, whether for gain or not, publishes an obscene article [F1or who has an obscene article for publication for gain (whether gain to himself or gain to another)] shall be liable—
(a)on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months;
(b)on conviction on indictment to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.
(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F2
(3)A prosecution . . . F3 for an offence against this section shall not be commenced more than two years after the commission of the offence.
[F4(3A)Proceedings for an offence under this section shall not be instituted except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions in any case where the article in question is a moving picture film of a width of not less than sixteen millimetres and the relevant publication or the only other publication which followed or could reasonably have been expected to follow from the relevant publication took place or (as the case may be) was to take place in the course of a [F5film exhibition]; and in this subsection “the relevant publication” means—
(a)in the case of any proceedings under this section for publishing an obscene article, the publication in respect of which the defendant would be charged if the proceedings were brought; and
(b)in the case of any proceedings under this section for having an obscene article for publication for gain, the publication which, if the proceedings were brought, the defendant would be alleged to have had in contemplation.]
(4)A person publishing an article shall not be preceeded against for an offence at common law consisting of the publication of any matter contained or embodied in the article where it is of the essence of the offence that the matter is obscene.
[F6(4A)Without prejudice to subsection (4) above, a person shall not be proceeded against for an offence at common law—
(a)in respect of a [F5film exhibition] or anything said or done in the course of a [F5film exhibition], where it is of the essence of the common law offence that the exhibition or, as the case may be, what was said or done was obscene, indecent, offensive, disgusting or injurious to morality; or
(b)in respect of an agreement to give a [F5film exhibition] or to cause anything to be said or done in the course of such an exhibition where the common law offence consists of conspiring to corrupt public morals or to do any act contrary to public morals or decency.]
(5)A person shall not be convicted of an offence against this section if he proves that he had not examined the article in respect of which he is charged and had no reasonable cause to suspect that it was such that his publication of it would make him liable to be convicted of an offence against this section.
(6)In any proceedings against a person under this section the question whether an article is obscene shall be determined without regard to any publication by another person unless it could reasonably have been expected that the publication by the other person would follow from publication by the person charged.
[F7(7)In this section “film exhibition” has the same meaning as in the Cinemas Act 1985.]
Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.
Modifications etc. (not altering text)
Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.
Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.
Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.
Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:
Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:
Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including: