INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
It is an offence to make, publish, distribute or possess obscene material or crime comics in Canada.
163(1) Every one commits an offence who (a) makes, prints, publishes, distributes, circulates, or has in his possession for the purpose of publication, distribution or circulation any obscene written matter, picture, model, phonograph record or other thing whatever; or (b) makes, prints, publishes, distributes, sells or has in his possession for the purpose of publication, distribution or circulation a crime comic.
Section 163(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the offence of possessing, distributing, or publishing obscene material or crime comics. The section defines obscene material as any written matter, picture, model, phonograph record, or other thing that is offensive or indecent in nature and has the potential to corrupt morals or excite degrading or depraved sensations in an individual. Crime comics, on the other hand, are comics that depict criminal acts and may be deemed harmful to the public, especially youth. The section makes it an offence for anyone to make, print, publish, distribute, sell, or possess for the purpose of publication, distribution, or circulation obscene material or crime comics. This includes not only the creators and distributors but also individuals who possess such materials for the purpose of circulation or publication. The section is aimed at protecting the public from exposure to harmful materials that can lead to moral decay. Publication, distribution, or possession of obscene material or crime comics is punishable by law, and individuals found guilty may face fines or imprisonment. This section is relevant in the context of maintaining public morality and protecting individuals from the harmful effects of certain materials. Its enforcement ensures that the public is not exposed to materials that can have negative effects on impressionable individuals, particularly minors.
Section 163(1) of the Canadian Criminal Code prohibits the creation, distribution, possession and circulation of any obscene written matter, picture, model, phonograph record or other thing, as well as crime comics within Canada. This provision is aimed at the regulation of obscene and potentially harmful material within Canadian society. Obscenity is a legal term that has been defined as any material that is likely to deprave or corrupt individuals morally, or that encourages violent or criminal acts. The purpose of this law is to protect the public, especially children and young people, from exposure to potentially harmful materials that can lead to deviant behavior and corrupt moral values. In the age of the internet, where individuals have access to an abundance of uncensored and unlimited information, this provision has become increasingly relevant. The regulation of obscene material is an important issue in today's society, as it often leads to debates around the freedom of expression and censorship. Section 163(1) is a necessary legal provision in Canada, as it ensures that potentially harmful materials are kept at a minimum within the country. The provision provides a legal basis for the prosecution of individuals involved in the production and distribution of obscene materials. The punishment for committing an offense under Section 163(1) is severe, with a maximum sentence of two years in jail. The provision has a wide scope, as it covers a broad range of materials, such as written matter, photographs, recordings, and models - ensuring that all forms of obscene material are covered under the law. Critics of Section 163(1) point out that the provision is too broad and can lead to the infringement of individuals' rights to freedom of expression. They argue that the law can be used by governments to control the flow of information rather than to protect public morality. This view is disputed by advocates of the law who argue that individuals who produce and distribute obscene materials are not protected under the freedom of speech and expression. They argue that such individuals are involved in harmful and criminal activities that need to be regulated by law. In conclusion, Section 163(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important legal provision that helps the country to regulate obscene materials. The provision ensures that the public is protected from exposure to harmful materials while at the same time respecting individuals' freedom of expression. It provides the necessary legal framework for the prosecution of individuals who produce and distribute obscene materials, and is a vital tool in the fight against criminal activities. Although there have been debates around the scope and limitations of the law, Section 163(1) remains an important legal provision in modern-day Canada.
Section 163(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada criminalizes the publication, possession, and distribution of obscene materials and crime comics. The provision aims to protect the public from exposure to harmful materials that could negatively influence morals, incite violence, or promote criminal activities. However, the section is not without controversy, as some argue that it infringes on freedom of expression, artistic creativity, and the press. When dealing with section 163(1) of the Criminal Code, several strategic considerations come into play, depending on the context, purpose, and content of the material in question. Some of these considerations include: 1. Defining obscenity: One of the primary challenges in dealing with section 163(1) is defining what constitutes "obscene" materials. The Criminal Code does not provide a clear definition, and courts have struggled with interpreting the provision. The Supreme Court of Canada has established a test for obscenity, which considers the community standards, dominant themes, and artistic merit of the materials. However, the test is still subjective and open to interpretation. Therefore, strategizing to determine whether a material falls under the definition of obscenity requires an understanding of various factors such as the target audience, content, context, and intention. 2. Balancing freedom of expression and public interest: The second strategic consideration when dealing with section 163(1) is balancing freedom of expression and public interest. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of expression as a fundamental right, and any restriction should be reasonable and justifiable in a democratic society. Therefore, strategizing to defend or challenge the application of section 163(1) requires a careful analysis of the nature, extent, and purpose of the restriction, as well as the proportionality of the restriction to the harm sought to be prevented. 3. Compliance with other laws and regulations: The third strategic consideration is compliance with other laws and regulations related to obscenity and publication. For instance, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has regulations that prohibit the broadcast of obscene or indecent materials. Moreover, the Ontario Film Review Board and other provinces have classification and rating systems that limit the public's access to certain types of materials based on age and content. Compliance with these laws and regulations can be a strategic consideration when determining how to publish, distribute, or possess materials that could be subject to section 163(1). Some strategies that could be employed in dealing with section 163(1) include: 1. Pre-publication review: Some authors, publishers, and distributors may employ a pre-publication review process to ensure that their materials do not violate the obscenity provision. The review process could involve legal experts, community representatives, or ethical committees who could provide feedback on the content, context, and intended audience of the materials. This strategy may minimize the risk of a legal challenge or public backlash, but it could also limit artistic creativity and expression. 2. Challenging the provision's constitutionality: Another strategy that could be employed is challenging the constitutionality of section 163(1) based on its potential infringement on freedom of expression. This could involve filing a constitutional challenge in court, arguing that the provision is overly broad, vague, and does not justify the restriction. This strategy could be risky, as it could attract public scrutiny and backlash, especially if the material in question is widely considered obscene. 3. Age-restricted access: Another strategy that could be employed is limiting access to the materials based on age. This strategy could involve employing a classification or rating system that restricts access to minors or vulnerable communities. This strategy may appease the concerns of the public and regulators while still allowing for the publication and distribution of materials that could be considered obscene for mature audiences. In conclusion, dealing with section 163(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada requires a multifaceted approach that considers various factors such as defining obscenity, balancing freedom of expression and public interest, and compliance with other laws and regulations. Some strategies that could be employed include pre-publication review, challenging the provision's constitutionality, and age-restricted access. However, the appropriateness and effectiveness of these strategies depend on the specific context, purpose, and content of the materials in question.