Criminalising the Possession of Extreme Pornographic Images: A Critical Examination of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act

Moore, A. (2010) Criminalising the Possession of Extreme Pornographic Images: A Critical Examination of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act. 2nd Global Conference Good Sex, Bad Sex: Sex Law, Crime and Ethics, 3-5 May, Prague.

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Abstract

With effect from 26 th January 2009, the possession of ‘extreme’ pornography has been criminalised under the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act (CJIA) (2008) and is punishable by up to three years imprisonment. Although the purview of the Act covers much of what is already illegal under existing provisions, it broadens criminal responsibility from the producers and distributors of ‘extreme’ pornography to the consumers. This paper will argue that the CJIA (2008) is a fundamentally flawed law in a number of ways. Firstly, the central tenets of the Act are vague and imprecise, lacking definitional guidelines regarding ‘pornography’, ‘extreme’ imagery and ‘serious injury’. Secondly, it will consider the extent to which the criminalisation of possession of extreme pornography rehearses and reinforces gendered constructions of sexuality and, in particular, notions of female passivity and male activity. Finally, because of its focus on pornography depicting acts that appear to lead to serious injury or represent a threat to life, it will, disproportionately criminalise the possession of sadomasochist images and, by extension, criminalise and further pathologise those individuals whose sexual identity or behaviour includes the eroticisation of consensual power exchange

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Politics
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2010 12:05
URI: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/id/eprint/1693

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