World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

R (ProLife Alliance) v. BBC

Article Id: WHEBN0020419921
Reproduction Date:

Title: R (ProLife Alliance) v. BBC  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Human Rights Act 1998, List of United Kingdom House of Lords cases
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

R (ProLife Alliance) v. BBC

R (ProLife Alliance) v. BBC [1] was a House of Lords case concerning the extent to which matters of good taste and decency are sufficient to justify the censorship of a Public Election Broadcast. The ProLife Alliance submitted a video that showed the results of an abortion. The video was held to violate statutory regulations requiring public broadcast to be decent. After extensive legal proceedings, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the ProLife Alliance. However, the decision was overturned by the House of Lords.


The ProLife Alliance is a political party that campaigns for "absolute respect for innocent human life from fertilisation until natural death and therefore opposes abortion, euthanasia, destructive embryo research and human cloning." (Paragraph 2 of the Court of Appeal judgment)

In 1997, the ProLife Alliance had enough support to be granted a Public Election Broadcast (PEB), subject to rules set out by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Independent Television Commission (ITC) and the Electoral Commission. The ProLife Alliance submitted a video that was graphic in nature. The video, the HL said, showed "the products of a suction abortion: tiny limbs, bloodied and dismembered, a separated head, their human shape and form plainly recognisable. There are some pictures showing the results of the procedures undertaken to procure an abortion at later stages... They are, I think, certainly disturbing to any person of ordinary sensibilities."

The broadcasters declined to show the video, on the grounds that it could have been offensive or disturbing to a large number of viewers. The ProLife Alliance sought permission for judicial review of their decision, which was refused. "A further application to the Court of Appeal was also refused. The appellant applied to the European Court of Human Rights, alleging a violation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”). The application was declared inadmissible without the United Kingdom government being called on to put in observations." (Para. 7)

The Law

The Broadcasting Act 1990 makes the following provisions:

And, in section 36:

The following provisions of the Broadcasting Act 1996 are also important:

Court of Appeal ruling

The Court of Appeal[2] ruled in favour of the ProLife Alliance by stating that the BBC had acted unfairly in denying them one election broadcast in Wales.[3]

House of Lords

The House of Lords[1] overruled the Court of Appeal decision.[4]

See also


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.