Legal issues: This case is based on the limitation of the freedom of expression regulated by Section 2 B of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This limitation specifically refers to the provision of the Criminal Code of Canada, Section 163 – Offences tending to…
The defendant possessed a big collection of videos and photographs containing nude teenage boys involved in uncensored activities. Sharpe invoked the actions of the prosecutor as a violation of his right to freedom of expression, trying to prove the in-constitutionality of the Criminal Code provisions prohibiting possession of materials containing child pornography. Sharpe made an intensive attempt to refute the prosecutor’s arguments and to prove that he is not guilty of anything. The main legal issues that have arisen in this case regarded the following: a) is the possession of child pornography protected by the right to freedom of expression? b) are the provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada somehow infringing the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution?
2. Court’s ruling: The Court was forced to face and solve a constitutional challenge, aroused by a child pornography fan, which would have formed a powerful precedent in Canadian law. The Court agreed with the defendant in one thing: the prohibition of the Criminal Code provisions did represent a limitation of the freedom of expression. Nevertheless, this limitation was necessary in a country where morality is respected and protecting children is one of the main objectives of the whole society. However, the Court decided that possession of child pornography for exclusive personal usage does not harm the child directly, so it should not be outlawed. The charges against Sharpe were dropped, except the ones referring to the photographs. Sharpe was charged with the crimes of gross indecency (article 157 Criminal Code of Canada) and indecent assault against a minor boy (article 156 Criminal Code of Canada).
3. My opinion: I believe that ownership of child pornography for private usage should be also outlawed and declared as an exception to of the freedom of expression. It is almost impossible to control if the owner uses this material for ...
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