A report on Obscenity and Hicklin test

Cover of an undated American edition of Fanny Hill, c. 1910
The 18th century book Fanny Hill has been subject to obscenity trials at various times (image: plate XI: The bathing party; La baignade)

The Hicklin test is a legal test for obscenity established by the English case Regina v Hicklin (1868).

- Hicklin test

Hicklin test (1868): the effect of isolated passages upon the most susceptible persons. (British common law, cited in Regina v. Hicklin, 1868. LR 3 QB 360 - overturned when Michigan tried to outlaw all printed matter that would 'corrupt the morals of youth' in Butler v. State of Michigan 352 U.S. 380 (1957))

- Obscenity
Cover of an undated American edition of Fanny Hill, c. 1910

1 related topic with Alpha


Roth v. United States

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Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 (1957), along with its companion case Alberts v. California, was a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States which redefined the Constitutional test for determining what constitutes obscene material unprotected by the First Amendment.

Under the common law rule that prevailed before Roth, articulated most famously in the 1868 English case Regina v Hicklin, any material that tended to "deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences" was deemed "obscene" and could be banned on that basis.