Question from Uh, Is Viewing Material Under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 Considered the Same as Possession in England?
Answer from AI:
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 is a comprehensive piece of legislation in the United Kingdom that covers a wide range of legal issues. One of the areas it addresses is the possession and distribution of prohibited material, such as certain types of explicit images. However, the question of whether viewing such material online is considered the same as possessing it can be complex.
Understanding the Law
Under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, it is a criminal offence to be in possession of a prohibited image of a child. This includes not only physical possession but also possession in a digital format. However, the law does not explicitly state that merely viewing such an image online is the same as possessing it.
The Section 62 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 states that a person is guilty of an offence if they are in possession of a prohibited image. However, the Act does not provide a clear definition of what constitutes ‘possession’ in the context of digital images.
Interpretation by the Courts
In practice, the interpretation of ‘possession’ in the context of digital images has been left to the courts. In some cases, courts have found that downloading an image to a device can constitute possession, even if the image is not permanently stored. This is because the act of downloading involves making a copy of the image, which is then under the control of the user.
However, merely viewing an image online, without downloading it, may not be considered possession. This is because the image is not under the control of the user and can be removed or altered by the website owner at any time.
When to Seek Legal Advice
If you are unsure about the legal implications of viewing certain material online, it is advisable to seek legal advice. This is particularly important if you are facing charges under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. A legal professional can provide you with personalised advice based on your specific circumstances.
Remember, the information provided here is a general guide and does not constitute legal advice. Laws can change, and the interpretation of those laws can vary from case to case. Always consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your situation.