Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Video Recordings Act 1984 - validity of sentences based on the Act

Judgements have been given in the two appeals of Interfact Ltd v Liverpool City Council [2010] EWHC 1604 (Admin) and R v Budimir and Rainbird [2010] EWCA Crim 1486.  Interfact Ltd supplied videos by mail order but, under section 12 of the Video Recordings Act 1984, videos classified as R18 may only be supplied at licensed sex shops.  The Budimir and Rainbird case arose under section 10 of the same Act - supply of videos containing a video work with no classification certificate.

The real legal interest was the argument that sentences imposed under the Video Recordings Act 1984 should be quashed as invalid because the government had failed to comply with the European Union's "Technical Standards Directive" [Directive 83/189/EEC].  The court comprised Lord Judge LCJ, David Clarke and Lloyd-Jones JJ.  At one time it would not have been possible to advance such an argument in the English courts given the doctrine of the supremacy of parliament.

In the event, the court upheld the convictions but an appeal to the Supreme Court of the U.K. is a distinct possibility.

1 comment:

  1. Why didn't the Supreme Court pass this over to the European Court of Justice? Simply because this would in no doubt open a very large can of worms indeed. Once again this clearly indicates an injustice of the UK legal system. Individuals prosecuted under the Video Recordings Act 1984 have the right to reparation under EU Law. The UK courts are in full breach of EU legislation.