Former Soviet Republic of Georgia Overturns Pornography Ban

Former Soviet Republic of Georgia Overturns Pornography Ban

TBILISI, Georgia — The Constitutional Court of Georgia ruled on Friday to overturn the former Soviet republic’s blanket ban on the production and distribution of pornography.

The court “effectively legalized the production and dissemination of pornography, ruling in favor of a claim that the current definition of ‘pornography’ was vague and open to interpretation,” local independent news outlet OC Media reported, although the analysis also warned that “a fight for the explicit legalization of pornography may remain an uphill battle, as lawmakers may quickly redefine the term.”

The judges also “ordered lawmakers to come up with a clearer definition of pornography by May 2023.” 

Until the court’s ruling, the “making, dissemination or advertisement of pornographic works, printed publications, images or similar items” was punishable by up to two years in prison, OC Media explained.

According to the report, the four Constitutional Court judges “found unanimously that the law left an ‘unreasonably wide margin’ for interpretation which could create the ground for ‘arbitrariness and injustice.’”

Crucial in the judges’ decision was the plaintiffs’ claim that the law “did not differentiate between pornography and erotic material, or whether ‘pornography’ necessarily implied bodily penetration, nudity or a portrayal of sexual activity without showing sex organs.”

The term ‘obscenity’, used to define pornography for broadcasting purposes, was also ruled to be ‘too abstract.’”

In 2017, Georgian prosecutors charged Giorgi Logua and 11 others “for publishing pornography produced outside Georgia on their website.” Logua was found innocent, but when prosecutors appealed, he took the case to the Constitutional Court, and was represented by the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA).

“All four judges agreed that one would not be able to rely on legal consultation to clearly learn how to avoid criminal charges or even two years jail time,” GYLA attorney Giorgi Gotsiridze told OC Media. “No one can be punished for pornography as long as it remains to be defined.”

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