Offence of possessing extreme porn – UK

The concept of possession for child pornography troubled the courts in the recent years. The main question is to which extent deleting images makes one still in possession of those images? The courts were warry to create a legal test that would lead to convicting the “innocent” person receiving unwelcomed porn by e-mail.
The issues have been partially adressed with the new offences of extreme porn (rather than modification of child porn) in s. 63 to 67 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. Contrary to what everybody says, there is no defence if one deletes the materials. One has to prove that one did not solicit to receive the materials and that is much harder to do than it appears at first sight. The official guidelines are clear as long as one does not read only para. 21, but also read para. 19 and 20. The test is in line with the French courts’ approach

UK.gov says extreme porn isn’t illegal if you delete it…” (The register – 28 November 2008)

UK Says You Can’t Have Some Kinds Of Porn, But It Determines What Kinds” (Tech Dirt – 2 December 2008)

with the official guidelines available at the Ministry of Justice website http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/announcement261108a.htm

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About Audrey Guinchard

Senior Lecturer @ University of Essex (UK)
This entry was posted in Offences - Obscenity. Bookmark the permalink.

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