The House of Lords (judicial) has turned its learned gaze to the question of sex.

In today’s decision (Belfast City Council v Miss Behavin’: [2007] UKHL 19), the Lords find (unanimously) that the system and the decision relating to an application for a licence by a Belfast-based ‘sex shop’ did not violate article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The Lords engage in an interesting analysis on the value of speech, and also dismiss the idea that human rights concerns need to be explicitly (no pun intended) discussed at decision stage (i.e. that there is no formal obligation to consider FoE issues, but the decision/result must be ECHR-compliant). I’m not particularly in agreement with either plank of the decision. However, it’s worth reading for paragraph 1 (Hoffman) alone!