OTTAWA, Jan 26, 2001 ( – The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today in the case of child pornography dealer John Robin Sharpe. Some pro-family groups have expressed relief that the decision upholds most of the current legal restrictions on child pornography. Others are far less positive and fear the Court has further opened the door to acceptance of such material by finding that Canadian law too severely restricts the freedom of child porn users on at least two points.

The 6-3 decision said that the current law’s infringement on Charter rights are for the most part justified. The justices declared an exception regarding the “possession of any written material or visual representation created by the accused alone, and held by the accused alone, exclusively for his or her own personal use.” Thus a pedophile collection of stories and drawings, including realistic computer generated images involving the depiction of young children with adults in any depraved act are allowed by law as long as they are self-produced and not distributed.

Teens as young as 14 are now allowed to photograph and video tape themselves engaged in sexual activity as long as the material is for personal use only and not for distribution, and does not involve anything illegal (sex among 14-year-olds is legal in Canada).

Real Women lawyer Gwen Landolt told LifeSite that the majority was “naëve to think such material would not be used for distribution.” Moreover, police forces will now be encumbered with the more difficult task of having to prove that child pornography, of the nature allowed by the ruling, was actually meant for distribution.

Landolt said that the material should be outlawed on the grounds that it is intrinsically reprehensible and that those with pedophilic cravings for these materials should be helped out of their disorder rather than having their illness fed. The court ruling itself seemed to concur when it said that child pornography “fuels fantasies that incite offenders to offend.”

The application of the ruling to Sharpe is uncertain since he was in possession of material which the court said should remain illegal. The National Post reported yesterday that there were some 100 cases involving child pornography on hold awaiting the result of the ruling. The court has ruled that the exceptions will be read into the law and thus no amendment by the government is required to comply with the decision. The only option open to the government to reverse this decision, which some critics find disturbing, is to use the notwithstanding clause to negate the read-in of the increased ‘freedom’ for child pornographers. The decision is the latest of many by Canadian courts citing the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to alter Parliament-made law and advance the liberalization of the moral culture.

The decision is available on line at:

Canada is a haven for Kiddie porn:

Rory Leishman on the Sharpe case:

BC Government funds child pornographer presentation:

Another 32,000 signatures against child pornography


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