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93 Can. B. Rev. 1 (2015)

handle is hein.journals/canbarev93 and id is 1 raw text is: 










Vol. 93                        2015                          No. 1



  THE PAPER TIGRESS: CANADIAN OBSCENITY
          LAW 20 YEARS AFTER R VBUTLER

                          Janine Benedet*


The Supreme  Court of Canada ' 1992 decision in R v Butler was viewed
by its supporters and its critics as having important and far-reaching
consequences.  In fact, a survey  of the available obscenity cases
prosecuted after Butler demonstrates that the offence is rarely used to
target sexist and sexually violent pornography, with only one reported
conviction in the past fifteen years. There are a number of possible
reasons for this outcome, including the normalization and pervasiveness
ofsexual violence against women and an undue narrowing of the harms
identified in Butler This article examines the limited use of the obscenity
offence from 1992-2012 and calls for a renewed consideration of how to
address the harms of pornography consistent with a commitment to sex
equality.


Tant les partisans que les opposants de la decision rendue par la Cour
suprdme  du Canada  en 1992 dans  l'arrit R c Butler etaient d'accord
pour dire que ce jugement aurait des consequences importantes et une
portee considerable. En  realit, une etude  des causes portant sur
l'obscenit, qui ont ete instruites a la suite de l'affaire Butler demontre
qu'on  fait rarement  appel ai l'infraction connexe pour  cibler la
pornographie caracterisee par le sexisme et la violence sexuelle. Defait,
au  cours  des quinze  dernieres annees, une  seule declaration de
culpabilit a ainsi ete rapporte. De nombreuses raisons expliquent ce


    *   Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, Peter A Allard School of Law, University
of British Columbia. This work was supported by funding from the Law Foundation of
British Columbia. I am grateful to the law students who contributed to the research for
this article, including Brendan Ward, Tamlin Cooper, Rebecca Coad and Karen Segal.


THE  CANADIAN BAR REVIEW

   LA REVUE DU BARREAU
          CANADIEN

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