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Prof. Alisdair A. Gillespie De Montfort University, UK.

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Presentation on theme: "Prof. Alisdair A. Gillespie De Montfort University, UK."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prof. Alisdair A. Gillespie De Montfort University, UK

2  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.

3  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.

4  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?

5  Are adolescents recognised as a possible exemption to child pornography law?  International law: Instrument OPSC  CoE Sexual Exploitation CoE Cybercrime  EU Directive 

6  Are adolescents recognised as a possible exemption to child pornography law?  National law: Instrument Australia /  Canada England & Wales * Ireland  USA / 

7 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.

8  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?

9  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?

10  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.

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