The Government has announced a Review will investigate gaps in UK regulation that allows exploitation or abuse to take place online, as well as identifying barriers to enforcing criminal law.
As the way we consume media and access content rapidly changes, the Review will investigate any gaps in UK regulation which allows exploitation and abuse to take place online as well as identifying barriers to enforcing criminal law.
While the criminal law has been updated in recent years to tackle the presence of extreme and revenge pornography, there are currently different regimes that address the publication and distribution of commercial pornographic material offline, such as videos, and online. The government wants to ensure any pornography legislation and regulation operates consistently for all pornographic content.
There are currently several criminal offences, linked to legislation such as the Obscene Publications Act 1959 and the ‘extreme porn’ offence at s63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, which can be committed in relation to all pornographic material, whether offline or online. Some pornographic material is covered by communications offences and offences which deal with publicly displayed material in shops and other premises.
Separately, there is a very robust regime of offences tackling the possession, taking and making of indecent images of children, whether they are photographs / films, or non-photographic.
There are also different regulatory regimes, including that established by the Video Recordings Act 1984, which address the publication and distribution of commercial pornographic material offline, and the video-sharing platform regime that addresses some online pornography.
The review will also look at how effective the criminal justice system and law enforcement agencies are in responding to illegal pornographic content, including considering if any changes need to be made to criminal law to address challenges law enforcement might have.
It will also consider what more can be done to provide children with information and resources about the harm caused by pornography. This will make sure that illegal and harmful content, such as that which features child sexual abuse and exploitation, or where adults are being exploited, is robustly dealt with.
The Pornography Review is a prompt response to calls for action from parliamentarians and campaign groups concerned with the prevalence and impact on both children and adults of illegal pornographic content and child sexual exploitation and abuse on pornography sites and social media.
The Review will seek expertise across government and significant engagement with the Crown Prosecution Service and police, industry, civil society stakeholders and regulators.
The review will also look at the role of the pornography industry in trafficking and exploiting adult performers, child sexual exploitation and abuse, and how extreme and non-consensual pornographic content online is dealt with.
As a firm, we closely monitor all proposed legislative changes and assess the impact they might have when enacted. Our crime team has extensive regulatory law expertise and can advise individuals and businesses about the potential effects of legislation.
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If you need specialist advice on a matter of criminal law, then get in touch with our Crime Team on 020 7935 3522 or firstname.lastname@example.org or in an emergency please call our 24/7 number 07973 259382 and let us help. We can advise on a plea, defences and potential sentences in a wide range of circumstances.
Whatever your personal circumstances the above is only a guide and we would advise you to contact us to obtain definitive advice as you will appreciate that each person’s circumstances are unique to them.
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