Question from scdc, Is Viewing Extreme Pornography Illegal in England?
Answer from AI:
In England, the legality of viewing pornography is governed by several laws, with specific regulations concerning what is termed “extreme pornography.” It’s important to understand these laws to ensure that one’s actions remain within the bounds of legality.
Legal Definition of Extreme Pornography
Under the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, extreme pornography is defined as images that portray, in an explicit and realistic way, any of the following:
- Acts which threaten a person’s life,
- Acts which result in or are likely to result in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts, or genitals,
- Bestiality, or
Additionally, the image must be grossly offensive, disgusting, or otherwise of an obscene character, and there must be a reasonable person who would look at the image and think that any such person or animal was real.
Legal Consequences of Viewing Extreme Pornography
Viewing extreme pornography that falls under the categories outlined by the law can be illegal. If someone is found to be in possession of such material, they could be charged with a criminal offense. The penalties for possession of extreme pornography can include:
- Imprisonment for up to three years,
- A criminal record, which can affect employment and travel opportunities.
It’s important to note that the law focuses on possession rather than the act of viewing per se. However, in practice, viewing such material online can often lead to its automatic download into the temporary files of a computer, which could be considered possession.
Exceptions and Defenses
There are certain defenses available under the law for those charged with possession of extreme pornography. These include:
- Lack of awareness of the nature of the material,
- Lack of intention to view the material,
- Legitimate reason for possession (e.g., law enforcement or medical professionals).
Seeking Legal Advice
If you are concerned about the legality of material you have come across online, or if you are facing charges related to extreme pornography, it is crucial to seek personalized legal advice. A legal professional can provide guidance based on the specifics of your situation.
For more information on the laws surrounding extreme pornography in England, you can refer to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. If you need legal assistance, consider contacting organizations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor specializing in criminal law.
Remember, this information is intended to provide a general understanding of the law and is not a substitute for legal advice. Laws and interpretations can change over time, and each case is unique, so always consult with a legal professional for advice on specific legal issues.