Attitudes toward child porn could change, B.C. judge says

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A judge of the British Columbia Court of Appeal says society's attitudes toward child pornography may prove as fleeting as views in an earlier age on homosexuality. "We have to recognize that our views about these matters might change radically. Society's view may change radically over a very short period of time", Madam Justice Mary Southin said during the first day of an appeal of a high-profile ruling that legalized the possession of child pornography in B.C.

Judge Southin is one of three jurists on an appeal-court panel that has been asked by the B.C. government to overturn the ruling, which held that production and distribution of child pornography is still a crime but simple possession is not. In the ruling, which has drawn international attention, Mr. Justice Duncan Shaw of the B.C. Supreme Court this year dismissed two charges of possession of child pornography against John Robin Sharpe of Vancouver. Judge Shaw said Section 163.1(4) of the Criminal Code - which prohibits possession of child pornography - is not a reasonable limit on freedom of expression guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. [...]

source: 'Attitudes toward child porn could change, B.C. judge says - Jurist speaks out during appeal of controversial ruling' by Robert Matas; www.efc.ca/pages/media/globe.27apr99.html; The Globe & Mail; 27 April 1999