Presentation on theme: "Prof. Alisdair A. Gillespie De Montfort University, UK."— Presentation transcript:
Prof. Alisdair A. Gillespie De Montfort University, UK
Considers whether international and national law has created a situation where adolescents are potentially criminalised. Considers the issue of youth-generated child sexual exploitation material that may meet the definition of ‘child pornography’. Considers the implications.
There is clear evidence that adolescents are starting to generate sexualised material. ◦ ‘Sexting’ ◦ Recording of sexual activity ◦ Commercial activity ◦ Harassment International definitions of child pornography can create a paradox. ◦ Age of consent divorces from the age of ‘a child’ for purposes of child pornography.
Focusing on ‘consensual’ production of images. ◦ Note the previous comment about the use of generated material for grooming. Are adolescents at risk of prosecution / criminal-justice intervention if they generate material?
Are adolescents recognised as a possible exemption to child pornography law? International law: Instrument OPSC CoE Sexual Exploitation CoE Cybercrime EU Directive
Are adolescents recognised as a possible exemption to child pornography law? National law: Instrument Australia / Canada England & Wales * Ireland USA /
USA Country most likely to prosecute. Latest research suggests CJ response continues. Some states have begun to decriminalise ‘sexting’. UK A rather peculiar and complicated defence. Little evidence that the police are prosecuting. Some evidence of CJ intervention however. Canada Constitutional ruling on the issue of self-generated material. Not criminal where the child is over the age of consent. Does not address issue where below. Little evidence of CJ intervention.
Is it correct to use a criminal justice response to adolescent-created images? ◦ Implications of this in many countries are significant. Labelling of a person a ‘sex offender’. Restrictions on employment (increasingly featuring in international law). Sex offender notification schemes. ◦ Education or child welfare solutions?
Should we distinguish between consensual and non-consensual behaviour? ◦ How do we identify consent? Should we exclude dissemination beyond the creator(s)? ◦ This perhaps addresses one of the key fears of the courts and policy makers. Should we focus on the motivation of the individual?
International law has increasingly raised the age of ‘a child’ to 18. The age of consent remains lower in many countries. The law therefore creates a paradox that many adolescents do not understand. ◦ Not suggesting it is ‘right’ that children generate such material. ◦ However does it require the full force of criminal law? Education / child welfare is better strategy.