Opinion Number. 1550


customs blasphemous, indecent or obscene works or articles: bibles contained in cartons which also contain serpents: ‘blasphemy’

Key Legislation

Customs Act 1901 s 52(c)


Section 52(c) of the Customs Act 1901–1930 refers to blasphemous, indecent or obscene works or articles. It is clear that the section is not limited to books and similar articles.

It is blasphemy to publish profane words ridiculing the Bible with intent to shock or insult believers. (Encyclopedia of the Laws of England Vol. II page 292).

These articles, in my opinion, are articles of the same character as publications of words of the nature mentioned.

I am of opinion that the Minister for Customs should treat them as blasphemous articles, leaving the parties interested to any remedy which they may be prepared to seek.

[Vol. 26, p. 640]