Citizens Advice Bureau Jersey

Our advice is available in the following ways:


Obscenity ( 4.6.0.L13 )


Extent:        Jersey
Updated:     October  2017


Words you may need to know

Publishing - preparing or producing material in printed or electronic form which is to be given to the public

Obscene -  something which people are offended or upset by, usually sexual or horrific to look at

Common law offence - an offence developed by the courts rather than government making it a crime.

Not disputed -  not argued, no disagreement

Tendency -  sometimes does

Deprave -  lead astray

Corrupt - make dishonest

Perception -  a way of looking at things

Offensive - upsetting, disgusting


There is nothing the same in Jersey Law as the UK Obscene Publications Act. Publishing obscene material is therefore a common law offence. In Carpenter v Constable of St Clement (1972) it was said:-

"It is not disputed that -

The publication of obscene material, whether it be a book, photograph, film or any other material, is an offence known to the criminal law of Jersey"

The test of obscenity is "that which has a tendency to deprave and corrupt". In the UK moral corruption has been defined by the courts as that which makes a person behave badly, or worse than he otherwise would have done, or blurs his perception of the difference between good and bad.

If a person wants to complain about something they have been offered for sale and which they find offensive,  they should first speak to the Police who may get the views of the Attorney General on whether a case should be taken against the person who produced the publication.