Child pornography laws in Australia
As technology expands at a rapid rate, people have access to a wide range of online material. With this growth, there has been greater emphasis on defining material considered to be criminal.
An increasingly complicated area in Australia and beyond is child abuse material law. This used to be called child pornography law.
This area has grown in order to cope with the variety and extent of depictions that can in some cases come under the definition of child abuse material.
Boundaries and classifications
In Australia, child abuse material is classified as the sexualised depiction of persons under 16 (or in some cases 18). This applies under both State and Commonwealth laws.
Common charges in NSW will be possessing, disseminating or producing child abuse material under s 91(H) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
Further Commonwealth offences can be found in circumstances where a communications carrier has been used for the purposes of delivering child abuse material. Within this field, there are subtle variations in circumstances.
Penalties for child pornography offences
Penalties can vary, from suspended sentences to community service through to gaol time. This will largely depend on severity issues, such as ages, number of images, number of children and violence in the material involved.
Our lawyers have vast experience in this field, and can help in negotiating the legalities involved.
It can sometimes be confusing to know the classification of particular material. It is important to consider whether you may have unwittingly accessed material classified as illegal.
What kind of material constitutes child pornography?
Unusual cases do arise in the arena of child pornography law. In one NSW matter, a defendant fronted court over his possession of offensive cartoon material (Simpsons characters!). Although not involving human children, the court still found that such material fell within the bounds of child pornography law.
Even images of teenagers fully clothed, in sexual poses, have been found to be child abuse material. Information certainly races around the world at an incredible rate. And as developments in art, narrative and photography blur lines about what is reasonable, it can be hard to keep up with the boundaries of the law.
Rights, wrongs and responsibilities
It is of course the right of adults to enjoy books, art, photography, articles and video material in various formats. It pays to understand however what is considered possession/dissemination of prohibited material.
Our experienced defence lawyers can give you the latest information on the bounds of the law. Information is power and it is worth knowing your rights and obligations in this area.