The British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) refused to give Manhunt 2 a classification in case it fell into the hands of children.But the Video Appeals Committee (VAC) lifted the ban last month when it allowed an appeal by US publishers, Rockstar Games Inc.

In a 4-3 majority decision, VAC ruled that the videogame was “unlikely” to cause harm to adults or children and awarded it an 18 certificate.

But a High Court judge in London has now ruled that VAC’s decision was fatally flawed by “a clear error of law” when it came to the test for assessing the question of harm.

Mr Justice Mitting said the committee must reconsider its decision in the light of his judgment.

During the hearing, BBFC expressed concern that the VAC decision could have serious implications for its watchdog role “not only in relation to video games, but generally”.

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