Canada's obscenity law after Little Sisters

Aleardo Zanghellini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Following a Supreme Court decision in 1992, the regulation of obscenity in Canada was justified on the ground that this kind of speech contributed to maintaining gender oppression. This innovative rationale for obscenity regulation was undermined by a recent decision on homosexual pornography, issued by a Supreme Court with an altered membership. While this Court could have consistently justified the regulation of homosexual pornography on the basis of the harm to women rationale, it clearly chose not to do so. Although the new judgment was presented by the new Court as being in a relation of continuity with the 1992 one, in practice its effect is likely to be that of allowing the Canadian system of obscenity regulation to accommodate pro-regulation and pro-censorship concerns that have little or nothing to do with the principle of equality between the sexes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-212
Number of pages18
JournalMedia and Arts Law Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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