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The Criminalisation of Extreme Pornographic Images: An Appropriate Measure or a Step Too Far?

Emily Swainson

The contemporary world is increasingly digitised and the accessibility of the internet has facilitated increased interconnectivity. Superficially, this appears to be a wholly positive outcome. However, this new ‘Internet Age’ has simultaneously exposed a more unsavoury element to society within the proliferation of extreme pornography. A legislative remedy has been sought. Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 criminalised the possession of extreme pornographic images. Prior to this, the regulatory focus rested upon the mere publication and distribution of such matter. This article will focus on whether the measure was necessary, insufficient or excessive whilst considering the broader complementary concepts of liberalism, feminism and moralism. The claim of this article is that section 63 does not address gender-based systems of violence and is instead highly reflective of the objections to sexual expression that endure within our legislature.

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