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Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law

Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law (10th edn)

Jeremy Horder
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date: 04 December 2023

16. Communication Offenceslocked

16. Communication Offenceslocked

  • Jeremy HorderJeremy HorderProfessor of Criminal Law, London School of Economics and Political Science


This chapter considers a range of ‘communication’ offences. The main focus is the offence of publishing an obscene article, contrary to the Obscene Publications Act 1959, and the offences under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 and section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988, concerned with the sending of false, indecent, or offensive messages. These offences are considered in the light of the right to free expression under Article 10 of the ECHR and the abolition of criminal defamation, and of the importance of allowing uninhibited political debate while protecting those taking part in such debate from abuse and threats.

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