Foreign Law: Blocked Exit

Even when British police refuse to act, an aggrieved citizen has a legal remedy. He can ask a local magistrate to issue a summons against the defendant, hire a barrister and conduct his own "private" prosecution. If he loses, he must pay the defendant's costs. For the first time in British legal memory, a private citizen has just used this approach against an allegedly obscene book—and his victory may be Britain's biggest pornography precedent since a jury cleared Lady Chatterley's Lover in 1960.

The book in question is U.S. Novelist Hubert Selby Jr.'s Last Exit...

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