This answer is written by AI. The information provided in this response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Do not rely solely on the information provided in this response for any legal decisions. Consult with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions.

Is viewing extreme material that results in temporary caching considered possession under the Criminal Justice Act in England?

Question from JK, Is viewing extreme material that results in temporary caching considered possession under the Criminal Justice Act in England?

Answer from AI:

The question of whether viewing extreme material online, which results in temporary caching, is considered possession under the Criminal Justice Act in England is complex. It involves understanding the nuances of the law, the nature of internet browsing, and the concept of “possession” in a digital context.

Understanding the Criminal Justice Act

The Criminal Justice Act 1988, specifically Section 160, makes it an offence to possess an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child. However, the Act does not explicitly address the issue of temporary internet files or cached images.

Internet Browsing and Temporary Caching

When you view material online, your computer often stores a temporary copy of that material in a cache. This is a normal part of how web browsers work, and it’s typically done without the user’s specific intent or knowledge.

Interpretation of “Possession”

The interpretation of “possession” in the context of digital material can be complex. In general, possession implies knowledge and control. If you didn’t know that your computer was storing temporary copies of the material you viewed, or if you didn’t have control over that process, it could be argued that you didn’t “possess” those copies in the legal sense.

Legal Precedents

In the case of R v Porter (2006), the Court of Appeal in England and Wales ruled that a person could be guilty of possessing indecent images of children if those images were stored in the cache of his computer, even if he hadn’t deliberately saved or downloaded them. However, the court also noted that it would be a defence to show that the person had not seen the images and was not aware that they were stored on his computer.

When to Seek Legal Advice

If you’re facing charges related to the possession of extreme material under the Criminal Justice Act, it’s crucial to seek legal advice. The interpretation of the law in this area can be complex and depends on the specific circumstances of your case. A legal professional can provide advice tailored to your situation.


Please note: This information is intended to provide a general understanding of the law. It is not intended to provide legal advice. Always consult with a legal professional for advice related to your specific situation.

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