• Richard G. Fox




The project staff ofthe Prohibited and Regulated Conduct Project of the Law Reform Commission of Canada state that the uncertainty of the law of obscenity the unevenness of its interpretation and application throughout Canada, and the question of its relevanceasa constituent partofthe criminal law prompted this extensive considerationofwhether the existing law is in need of reform. In his introduction, Professor Fox elaborates on the two fundamental difficulties at the rootofthe problem: first, that obscenity is an inescapably subjective phenomenon; and second, the law's own indeterminacyofaim. He then scrutinizes the plethora of possible subjectmatterfor obscenity and its dissemination; and he proceeds to a consideration of whether the suspectmaterialis obsceneper seorvariable according to susceptibility of the audience. Six possible justifications are offered for legislative prohibitions on obscenity; eachofthese areveryclosely examined and most are found to be tenuous at best. After a rather detailed examination of the cases on the Criminal Code provisions, other Federal legislation touching on the subject of obscenity, and the necessaril11 incidental consideration of defenses and expert witnesses, Professor Fox weighs the possible alternatives to the present law. There cannot, of course, be any definitive answers.