The British Board of Film Classification is to fight a decision that could have seen the controversial game Manhunt 2 stocked on UK shelves by Christmas.

The UK censor has demanded a judicial review of a decision last week to overturn its ban on controversial video game.

The Video Appeals Committee ruled last Tuesday (11 December) that the BBFC's decision not to award Manhunt 2 an age rating, and therefore a UK release, was not justified.

However, the BBFC hit back saying that the committee's judgement is "based on an approach to harm which is an incorrect interpretation of the Video Recordings Act".

It continued in its statement: "The Video Appeals Committee judgement, if allowed to stand, would have fundamental implications with regard to all the Board's decisions, including those turning upon questions of unacceptable levels of violence".

If the decision is made to suspend the committee's decision, the game, which is developed by Rockstar Games, will not be classified before the outcome of the judicial review.

The game has already been banned twice.

The PS2 and Wii versions of Manhunt 2 were originally banned by the BBFC in June, when the BBFC attacked its "casual sadism", and "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone", which "constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing".

In October, a revised version of the game was brought before the committee and again rejected.

Rockstar is currently not commenting on the specifics of the case.