Monday, 29 November 2010

Obscene Child Pornography Laws?

Katherine Sansom has written a wonderful piece for the online webzine FIPA in which she explores and challenges the child pornography laws in England and Wales. It's controversial and challenging stuff but I think Sansom makes very valid and important points in an area that makes it very difficult to offer new and challenging perspectives.

I personally think there's an argument to abolish all child pornography laws (Sansom doesn't go this far) - whilst criminalising the acts that are depicted/acts performed under duress. Thus, a 14 year old masturbating on their camera phone and who sends it to his/her/zir girlfriend/boyfriend/lover would not be criminalised (together with the recipient) but the abusive family member forcing a 14 year old to make such a recording would still be criminalised. On the other hand, I continue to listen to the arguments about pornography making 'real world' acts more likely and I remain open to persuasion on that point. I confess it's an area I'm still exploring and thinking through (before the lynch mob arrives!) but contributions such as that Sansom makes, are important in a measured and rationale exploration of an emotive area of law.

Check out the full piece here.

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