May 16, 2000 05:22am
Censors Fail to Ban Porn Videos
(LONDON) -- British film censors failed on Tuesday in a battle to ban the sale of explicit pornographic videos in sex shops.
The High Court in London rejected a challenge by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) against a decision by its own Video Appeals Committee to permit seven explicit films to go on sale at British sex shops.
The BBFC said before the ruling that if its legal bid failed then virtually all hard-core porn videos could be classified for sale in sex shops for home use.
The titles at the center of the case included ``Horny Catbabe,'' ``Nympho Nurse Nancy,'' ``TV Sex,'' ``Office Tart'' and ``Wet Nurses 2.''
Mr. Justice Hooper ruled that the Appeals Committee had been entitled to take the view that the risk of children viewing the videos if sold in sex shops was ``insignificant.''
He took the view that the attitude of the Appeals Committee was one ``a reasonable decision maker could reach.''
``I have no doubt that the conclusion 'that the risk of the videos in question being viewed by and causing harm to children or young persons is, on present evidence, insignificant,' is one that a reasonable decision maker could reach,'' he said.
The judge accepted there had been inconsistencies in the Appeals Committee's reasoning in reaching its decision but said: ``Any inconsistencies do not invalidate that central finding.''
Leave to appeal against Tuesday's decision was refused but it is still open to the BBFC to apply direct to the Appeal Court for leave to mount a challenge to the ruling.