ARTISTIC FREEDOM

Index on Censorship defends the right of all people to freely experience and create art. We seek to encourage a larger space for artists and arts organisations to challenge the status quo and speak out on sensitive issues and tackle taboos.

Index runs a programme confronting limitations to artistic freedom, publishes case studies about specific cases of artwork that is silenced and has produced guidance for artists on the legal framework surrounding artistic freedom in England and Wales.

ART AND THE LAW

Guides to the law on free expression and the arts in England and Wales

Child Protection

Child protection is a sensitive area of law and a deserved focus of public concern.  The prospect of a police investigation alone will be a matter of substantial press interest, while an actual prosecution, although unlikely in the professional arts sector, would nevertheless result in grave consequences for the gallery and the artist.

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Art and the Law: Child Protection

Counter Terrorism

Counter-terrorism is a complex and controversial area of the law, not least because the offences are often very widely drafted. The relevant legal definition of terrorism, contained within the Terrorism Act 2000 (and further extended in 2006), is very broad and potentially covers a very wide range of acts beyond those that are widely understood to be “terrorist” in nature.

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Art and the Law: Counter Terrorism

Obscene Publications

Obscene publications are governed by the Obscene Publications Act 1959 and the Obscene Publications Act 1964. The 1959 Act sets out the legal test for obscenity and creates certain offences and defences.

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Art and the Law: Obscene Publications

Public Order

Public order law is complicated and its application to any particular case will be fact-specific. It should be borne in mind that much of this area of law – in particular breach of the peace – is governed by the common law. Common law, also referred to as case law, is made by judges and developed in the cases that come before the court over time.

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Art and the Law: Public Order

Race and Religion

UK law criminalises conduct that has the intent of stirring up racial hatred or hatred on grounds of religion or sexual orientation.

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Art and the Law: Race and Religion