By Nick Cowen. Article first published online: 4 DEC 2015
How sexuality should be regulated in a liberal political community is an important, controversial theoretical and empirical question--as shown by the recent criminalization of possession of some adult pornography in the United Kingdom. Supporters of
criminalization argue that Mill, often considered a staunch opponent of censorship, would support prohibition due to his feminist commitments. I argue that this account underestimates the strengths of the Millian account of private conduct and free
expression, and the consistency of Millian anticensorship with feminist values. A Millian contextual defense of liberty, however, suggests several other policy approaches to addressing the harms of pornography.
The UN has called on Japan to prosecute manga cartoons of sexualized images of children. Speaking at Japan National Press Club, Dutch lawyer Maud De Boer-Buquicchio, a UN rapporteur on child prostitution and pornography, has praised the
recently-introduced law against real child pornography, but also criticised Japan for permitting cartoon imagery. She said:
When it comes to particular, extreme child pornographic content, manga should be banned.
The call from the UN envoy has been met with anger from manga artists, publishers and free-speech advocates, who claim that the ban would give the government unlimited power to restrict art.
Dan Kanemitsu, a manga translator, urged not to confuse fiction with reality, saying that manga characters may look childish but are not actually kids.
A Special Constable serving in Barnet was found guilty last month of possession of extreme pornography. David Baddiel was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge with a fine of £700 in costs and a victim surcharge following his trial at Harrow
The jury found Baddiel guilty of possessing the three images on his phone, contrary to s.63(1) of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. He was found not guilty of the three identical images on his computer.
Baddiel remains suspended from police work and will be subject to a misconduct review
The images were photos of women performing sex acts with a horse. Baddiel said that the material had been sent by a WhatsApp messaging group to his mobile but he had deleted it when he spotted it. He said that he had been unaware that the images were on
his computer. He told the jury at Harrow Crown Court that the WhatsApp group exchanged humorous material. It was a joke group for people to post jokes.
A man who exchanged extreme pornography with friends for amusement found himself in court as a victim of the Dangerous Pictures Act.
Roberto Isella, was arrested after he was caught with the illegal movies, featuring bestiality, on his mobile phone. Leicester Crown Court was told he was unaware he had broken the law.
Isella pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing extreme pornography, relating to 24 video clips and one still image, in December 2013. He was sentenced to a two-year community order with 200 hours of unpaid work.
Judge Simon Hammond moralised:
None of the images concerned children, but one should never minimise the disgust at seeing activities with animals.
How anyone could derive amusement from it is very difficult to understand.
I accept it wasn't done for sexual gratification but out of misguided amusement.
It's not amusing; it was disgusting.
People must understand they have these sort of images prison sentences could follow.
Comment: This prosecution is a disgrace
7th September 2015. Thanks to Alan
Sadly, yet another victim rolls over with a guilty plea.
As I get older, I become more and more baffled by the attitude of the state to sex, and never more so than with the good old offence of buggery.
I'm an old-fashioned liberal, I suppose, and think that the state should butt out of sexual morality, apart from the obvious crime of rape (sensibly defined) and a rational age of consent, with close in age protection against prosecution for
youngsters making early sexual experiments.
Now, where buggery's concerned, the state has decriminalised the bit regarding intercourse per anum with human beings. In fact, you frequently report censorship of Christian and Muslim activists who preach that sodomy is a sin, or doubt that two
people of the same sex can marry one another.
But the other aspect of the old offence of buggery, nookie with our four-legged friends, has become a big no-no, with even possession of pictures or videos criminalised. Back in the 70's, I was briefly a member of that archetypally middle-class,
benevolent but fun-loving organization, Round Table. I remember a guy bringing along a pack of mucky playing cards, in which the jokers showed a woman being shagged by a horse. Result: slightly embarrassed laughter and one or two off-colour quips. This
prosecution is a disgrace, and the judge makes himself look like a humourless dipstick.
As reported yesterday, Malta's Justice and Culture Minister Owen Bonnici has announced new amendments to censorship laws, which he said make good on the Labour Party's promises in opposition to prevent the further criminalisation of artists and
citizens based on archaic laws pertaining to obscenity.
Obscenity laws introduced in 1975 under a Labour government, which generically outlawed articles that unduly emphasised sex, crime, horror, cruelty and violence , will be repealed.
Pornography will now be defined as something which is made with the express aim to sexually arouse, and will be allowed to be distributed to adults, provided appropriate warnings will be given.
However examples of extreme pornography will be banned outright. These are defined as an act which threatens a person's life, an act which results in a person's severe injury, rape or a non-consensual sexual activity, sexual activity involving a
human corpse, and any act involving a person an animal.
Speaking to MaltaToday, Andrew Sciberras, part of the legal team charged with assembling the new law, ensured that strong defenses are in place for however falls foul of these new amendments, and that each case will be allowed to be considered on
a case-by-case basis.
Sciberras explained that the amendments are based on the British equivalent of the same laws, which he admitted were not without their controversy . He was referring specifically to the extreme porn laws , which led to protests following
their introduction in the UK in 2008.
This law has proven to be problematic when it comes to, for example, pornography of the bondage-and-masochism (BDSM) genre, which while often suggestive of violent activity by definition, could also be presented in a fictionalized setting, and performed
in a safe environment.
Sciberras added that in all cases, the context of the work in question -- be it visual or a work of literature -- will be considered in context to determine whether its worth is solely pornographic or not
A student studying animal management built up a library of illegal pictures depicting humans and animals having sex, a judge heard.
The student admitted possessing 284 images classed in law as being extreme pornography.
Swansea crown court heard how police found the images on his laptop.
The student was jailed for 16 weeks, suspended for a year. He was also placed under supervision for 12 months and ordered to complete a one-to-one course to help him understand the 'harm' that was caused in the creation of the images. (presumably the
twisted definition whereby making a personal copy is vindictively conflated with the act of photographing or directing the original image).
Dangerous Pictures victims are waiting up to two years for cases to come before the courts, as police are struggling to keep on top of mountains of computer evidence.
A surge in the seizure of people's computers is leading to some victims facing longer waits for a court date. Laptops, PCs, tablets and mobile phones displaying the internet are increasingly involved in investigations with a huge amount of data being processed by the county force.
Carlisle's top judge, Paul Batty QC, raised concerns over one case before him at the city's crown court after it took about two years to reach its conclusion.
Detective Inspector Neil Cooper, of Cumbria Police, explained how the force dealt with the rise. He said:
In the past few years an increasing number of crimes investigated by the police involve the use of computers, internet-enabled mobile phones and other data storage devices. As a result Cumbria Constabulary's hi-tech crime unit are examining an increasing
number of devices, many of which have a huge amount of data on them.
Each case is risk assessed and the examinations are prioritised in order to ensure that the cases where there is the greatest risk to the public are dealt with the quickest. On occasions, other cases where there is a low ongoing risk to the public do
take longer to be completed.
Carlisle Crown Court heard how one case where a man downloaded extreme porn featuring animals took two years to reach its conclusion. The case against Victor Noble came to light in 2013, but it only appeared before the city court this month. Noble
admitted five counts of possessing extreme pornography and was made the subject of a community order.
A man who downloaded extreme porn featuring animals foolishly handed himself into police after falling victim to a computer scam.
Victor Noble fell victim to computer hackers impersonating police who remotely locked his computer and demands a fee for it to be unlocked. The scammers blanked the screen and put in place an image supposedly referring to a police force, suggesting the
user had been visiting illegal sites and that he should pay a fee for his computer to be unlocked.
Noble foolishly paid the £100 requested but the computer stayed locked. He then stupidly decided to go to the police. About 600 images of an extreme pornographic nature were discovered.
Noble admitted five counts of possessing extreme pornography. He was made the subject of a community order, in which he will be supervised for a year.
Myles Jackman has played a high profile part in defending victims of Britain's repressive obscenity laws. He has now launched a new website which may be the first port of call for anyone that falls foul of UK censorship laws.
Dawn Love fell victim to repair shop Stazi who reported pornographic images of people having sex with horses and dogs when she took her phone into an 02 shop to be repaired. When police searched her car they also found a DVD showing someone having sex
with a dog.
Judge Christopher Critchlow opted not to send her to prison for her own safety after James Bloomer, defneding, pointed to psychiatric reports which said Love was at a high risk of killing herself if she was sent to prison.
Bloomer stressed that only two images - albeit showing brutal bestiality - had been found in Love's possession, and despite having convictions for other offences, she had no previous history of sexual offences.
A jury found Love guilty of possessing extreme porn earlier this year after a trial at Guildford Crown Court.
Sentencing her to a nine month jail term, suspended for two years, with a 12-month supervision order, Judge Critchlow said he had taken into account the dangerous effect jail could have on vulnerable Love. Judge Critchlow also ordered Love to hand over
the phone and pay a £100 fine.
The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) does some sterling work in restricting child abuse material on the internet. In its latest Annual Report, the IWF outlines its extension of its operations to seek out child porn rather than just respond to reports
Unfortunately the IWF also has a role as an internet censor of adult pornography which is deemed to be criminally obscene. The IWF generally plays down the role, as it would surely prefer to stick to more commendable areas of work, but nevertheless,
reports on its adult censorship activity:
Other Criminal Content
3,016 reports alleged criminally obscene adult content. However, almost all were not hosted within the UK and therefore not within the IWF's remit.
9 were assessed as criminally obscene and hosted in the UK. In each case we worked with the police to obtain their agreement with the assessment and approval for removing the content. We then contacted the website owner to remove the content.
A Japanese artist who made a kayak modelled on her vagina has denied obscenity charges at the start of her trial in a case demonstrating Japanese censorship and double standards.
Megumi Igarashi, who calls herself Rokudenashiko, was first arrested last July after distributing 3D scans of her genitalia to people in return for donations to her project to create the unusual kayak.
She was released days later following a public campaign supporting her right to freedom of expression. She was rearrested in December , however, and charged with obscenity.
The artist told the Tokyo district court that her vagina selfies were not obscene. I do not dispute the facts [of the charge], but my artwork is not obscene, Igarashi said.
Igarashi said she had sent the data to people who had donated more than 3,000 yen to the kayak project. She said she was prepared to take her case all the way to Japan's supreme court if necessary.
(1) Part 5 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 is amended as follows.
(2) In section 63 (possession of extreme pornographic images)—
(a) after subsection (5) insert—
“(5A) In relation to possession of an image in England and Wales, an “extreme image” is an image which—
(a) falls within subsection (7) or (7A), and
(b) is grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character.”,
(c) after subsection (7) insert—
“(7A) An image falls within this subsection if it portrays, in an explicit and realistic way, either of the following—
(a) an act which involves the non-consensual penetration of a person’s vagina, anus or mouth by another with the other person’s penis, or
(b) an act which involves the non-consensual sexual penetration of a person’s vagina or anus by another with a part of the other person’s body or anything else,
and a reasonable person looking at the image would think that the persons were real.
(7B) For the purposes of subsection (7A)—
(a) penetration is a continuing act from entry to withdrawal;
(b) “vagina” includes vulva.”
Also people who share sexual images without consent can be jailed for up to two years under the new law that came into effect in the UK on 13th April 2015. The Crown Prosecution Service said:
The law covers images that show the genitals but also anything that a reasonable person would consider to be sexual, so this could be a picture of someone who is engaged in sexual behaviour or posing in a sexually provocative way.
It is an offence for a person to disclose a private sexual photograph or film if the disclosure is made (a) without the consent of an individual who appears in the photograph or film, and (b) with the intention of causing that individual distress.
A Scottish victim of the Dangerous Pictures law had a pictures so extreme that police officers were banned from analysing it on health and safety grounds, a court has heard.
Thomas Aitken was caught with the images, some of which featured bestiality, when police raided his home at Bryson Street in 2013.
Aitken pled guilty to having 13 illegal porn images on his computer at an earlier hearing and appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court for sentencing.
Fiscal depute Isobel Martin whined:
From a health and safety point of view of the police officers preparing these reports, it was felt that it could be harrowing enough to view but to sit down and detail what each photograph contained would be simply too much.
Sheriff Gallacher warned the victim Aitken that accessing porn of the type he did was not a 'victimless crime'.
The sheriff sentenced Aitken to 100 hours of unpaid work and ordered that he is supervised for 15 months.
Comment: Delicate Scottish coppers
19th March 2015. Thanks to Alan
This story really strains credulity!. Bestiality isn't my cup of tea (or nosebag of fodder???) and I've only come across it two or three times in my life. About forty years ago, at a Round Table meeting, I remember a guy passing round a pack of mucky
playing cards in which the jokers involved equine participation. I also recall scenes in two of the 1980s Italian mainstream porn films starring Karin Schubert, Osceno and Poker di Donne, in which a minor character showed unusual affection for the family
mutt. (The fragrant Frau Schubert herself has signed a contract which stipulated, like a fifties landlady, no blacks and no dogs -- and no blokes in the back way, either.)
Reaction each time? Embarrassed laughter! I can't believe that McPlod isn't allowed to watch because it will upset his equilibrium.
A man has been sentenced to 24 weeks in prison for possession of extreme pornography at Ipswich Magistrates Court
Police carried out a warrant at his home in Main Road in December 2013 after receiving information that he may be in possession of videos and images involving bestiality.
A number of items were seized including laptop computers and DVDs and these were sent for analysis. They were found to contain images of extreme pornography.
He was charged with seven counts of possession of extreme pornography and was sentenced to 24 weeks in custody and will have to sign onto the sex offenders register on his release and forfeit all material seized.
'Justice' Secretary Chris Grayling has been speaking of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, which was expected to get Royal Assent today,
This bill extends the definition of extreme pornography to include the depiction of rape with vague definitions that will surely see hundreds of people likely to become victims when police make commonplace and routine computer searches.
The government has also increased the maximum penalty to 2 years for those who send internet insults that the authorities deem to be abusive.