CBCNEWS B.C. court child porn ruling under fire

B.C. court child porn ruling under fire
WebPosted Sat Jan 16 16:17:34 1999

VANCOUVER -The government in British Columbia is facing heavy pressure over a controversial ruling on child pornography.

On Friday, a justice of the British Columbia Supreme Court struck down several sections of the Criminal Code covering child pornography.

Groups working with victims of child pornography are outraged.

John Sharpe was charged after police raided his home, in Surrey, in 1995. They seized CDs, pictures and writings about child pornography.

Sharpe defended himself in the case. He argued the sections of the code dealing with the possession of pornography violate his rights of privacy and freedom.

Justice Duncan Shaw agreed. He ruled that possessing child pornography for private use and not for distribution was constitutional. Shaw said the charges represented a threat to privacy and freedom of expression.

The ruling is not binding in other cases until it has been upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada. However, it may be considered by other courts hearing similar cases.

B.C. Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh says his province has not decided yet whether to appeal the court ruling. Dosanjh says his office will wait and makes its decision sometime next week..

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