December 23, 2008


Porn image ban sparks concern

A new law, slated to come into force in January, will make the possession of images deemed to be of an extreme pornographic nature a punishable criminal offence.

The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, 2008 says that images whichportray a life threatening act - something which will result in serious injury to a person's anus, breasts or genitals, or a sexual act with a corpse or animal - will be illegal to possess as of 26 January 2009. The law will apply to England and Wales and could put limitations on what can be produced and sold in the art photography market.

The law received Royal assent in May. When debated, in the House of Lords in April, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath said: 'We are targeting this material not on account of offences which may or may not have been committed in the production of the material, but because the material itself, which depicts extreme violence and often appears to be non-consensual, is to be deplored'.

However, the passing of the act was marred by widespread discontent from Justice, a human rights lobby group, and Amnesty International, amidst claims that the over-inclusive definition may constitute a disproportionate interference with the right to free expression under Article 10 of the European Charter of Human Rights.

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