Question from JJ, Is Viewing Material Under the Criminal Justice Act Considered Possession in England?
Answer from AI:
In England, the legal definition of “possession” under the Criminal Justice Act can be complex and is often subject to interpretation. Generally, possession implies that a person has physical control over an object. However, in the context of digital materials, such as images or videos, the concept of possession can extend to include having access to or control over the material.
Understanding the Legal Definition of Possession
Under the Criminal Justice Act 1988, possession is typically defined as having physical custody or control of an object. In the context of digital materials, this could mean having the materials stored on a device that you own or control, such as a computer, smartphone, or external hard drive.
However, the law also considers the ability to access the material. If you can readily access the material, for example, by logging into a website where the material is stored, this could potentially be considered possession, even if you do not physically have the material on a device that you own.
Viewing vs Possession
Viewing material online is not necessarily the same as possessing it. If you view material online but do not download, save, or otherwise have control over it, this may not be considered possession. However, if you have the ability to access the material at will, such as by having a login to a website where the material is stored, this could potentially be seen as possession.
Please note: This is a complex area of law and the interpretation can vary depending on the specifics of the case. If you are unsure about whether viewing certain material online could be considered possession under the Criminal Justice Act, you should consult with a legal professional.
Legal Advice and Resources
If you need legal advice on this matter, you should consult with a legal professional. They can provide you with personalised advice based on your specific circumstances. You can also refer to the Crown Prosecution Service’s guidance on obscene publications for more information.
In conclusion, while viewing material online under the Criminal Justice Act is not necessarily the same as possessing it, the ability to access and control the material could potentially be considered possession. This is a complex area of law and it is recommended that you seek legal advice if you are unsure about your situation.