4/25/2007

No Miss Behavin'

It seems the House of Lords has over-ruled the Court of Appeal decision which found that the denial of a licence to a sex shop in Belfast by the city council was a breach of human rights.



This came about after the council consistently refused to licence Miss Behavin' Ltd on Gresham Street, in the city centre.

The four-year-long legal wrangle began in 2003 when councillors decided that the Gresham Street/North Street area of Belfast was not an appropriate place for sex shops and refused to license them.

Among the reasons they gave were proximity to schools, bus stops and areas of family shopping and because of future development of the area.

The latest decision by the Lords means council prosecutions against Miss Behavin' and six other sex shops in the area for trading without a licence - which have been on hold pending the outcome of the appeal to the Lords - may proceed.

Ruling in favour of the council, Lord Hoffmann said

"The right to vend pornography is not the most important right of free expression in a democratic society and the licensing system does not prohibit anyone from exercising it - it only prevents him from using unlicensed premises for that purpose."

Sean Fox said his client might decide to take the case to Europe.

"The judgement was only released today and we would like to take time to consider it carefully, but on first viewing it is clear to us that there may well be adequate grounds to refer this matter to the court of human rights."

I'm in two minds about this decision.

I believe that if people want to visit grotty sex shops in order to get their rocks off then they should be allowed to do that.

However I believe this should be in full consideration to those people who don't want their children anywhere near a place like that.

How about Larne?

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