In Association with the Libertarian International
In Association with Backlash
Release Date: Tuesday 2nd October 2007
Release Time: Immediate

Contact Details:
Dr Sean Gabb (Libertarian Alliance Director), 07956 472 199,
Deborah Hyde (Backlash) 07960 171 951,
Derek Cohen (Backlash) 07970 988 425

For other contact and link details, see the foot of this message
Release url:


With the full support of the Libertarian Alliance, Backlash’s Deborah Hyde will argue tonight that anti-porn laws ignore the evidence about the use and impact of pornography, infantilise women and bring legal systems into disrepute.

As part of the debate at Trinity College Law Society in Dublin, Ms Hyde will criticise the British Government’s new Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill. This seeks to criminalise the possession of so-called and vaguely defined “extreme pornography”.

She will say:

“When a government says there is no evidence a new law is needed, when there is no evidence of harm and when the purpose of the law is to tell MPs it’s OK to impose their own personal morality on the population, we need to be worried,”

She will add that the main proponents of current proposals use incendiary language and unproven, anecdotal evidence to try to justify the law. This language also denigrates law-abiding citizens who are harming no-one, limits their freedom and stigmatises their sexuality – all despite there being no evidence of harm to others.

Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, says:

“It is no business of the authorities in a free country to police the imagination. If these proposals become law, they will be another weapon in the arsenal of the police state built up in this country since 1979. We stand wholeheartedly with Deborah Hyde and everyone in Backlash to oppose them.”

The Libertarian Alliance believes:

* That what consenting adults do with each other on their own property is their own business;

* That if these consenting adults wish to publish any of this to other consenting adults, that also is their own business;

* That there should be no laws against the possession of any text or image, such laws being against the historic Constitution of England and being an excuse for an already corrupt police force to fabricate evidence;

* That the one legitimate function of the criminal justice system is to protect life and property.



  1. I hope you can also debunk the latest ‘evidence’, they have presented to support this law. The, so called, Rapid Evidence assessment, in which the authors (Chaired by someone known to be anti-porn) manage to exclude any evidence that undermines the proposed law, yet use dubious logic to include already discredited ‘laboratory’ studies, which even some of those who carried them out warn against extrapolating to the general population.

    This study makes the infamous Meese commisssion look balanced and even-handed and if presented to any committee or individual M.P. as evidence to support a need for this law, by any Government official, should be denounced as an attempt to mislead parliament.

  2. It’s good to see that the Libertarian Alliance is supporting the opposition to this Bill.

    I, myself, started a petition on the Number 10 Downing Street website that garnered over 1,800 signatures, but was fobbed off with a non-answer which just regurgitated the Home Office’s claims that the test of whether something was “extreme pornography” would be an “objective test”.

    Unfortunately this is nonsense, it would be an entirely subjective judgment based on a person’s opinion of what they were looking it.

    It also claimed that this material would “Breach the Obscene Publications Act”, but this is false, since for something to breach the OPA it must first be published or distributed and then a Jury must decide that it was “liable to corrupt and deprave”.

    The OPA does *not* criminalise simple possession of any material (not even child porn, that is covered under its own entirely separate legislation) so the Government’s position on this draconian law is one of spin and lies.

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