Investigating 'indecent, obscene or pornographic' art : lessons from the Bill Henson controversy

Meagher, Dan 2009, Investigating 'indecent, obscene or pornographic' art : lessons from the Bill Henson controversy, Media and arts law review, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 292-307.

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Title Investigating 'indecent, obscene or pornographic' art : lessons from the Bill Henson controversy
Author(s) Meagher, DanORCID iD for Meagher, Dan
Journal name Media and arts law review
Volume number 14
Issue number 3
Start page 292
End page 307
Total pages 16
Publisher Lexis Nexis Butterworths
Place of publication North Ryde, N.S.W.
Publication date 2009
ISSN 1325-1570
Summary This article considers the manner in which police in Australia investigate art that is putatively indecent, obscene or pornographic. It does so by examining the recent Bill Henson controversy and other similar instances where art and the criminal law have collided. This analysis will demonstrate that under Australian law there is little or no chance of a successful criminal prosecution for obscenity, indecency or pornography. Consequently, it is argued that police investigative procedures must take account of this legal reality. To this end a reform proposal is offered: upon receiving a complaint of this nature, police must — as a matter of internal procedure or law — immediately refer the impugned artwork to the Classification Board for a classification decision before they commence a formal investigation.
Language eng
Field of Research 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure
Socio Economic Objective 940403 Criminal Justice
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2009
Copyright notice ©2009, Lexis Nexis Butterworths
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