Child Pornography

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Possession and supply of child pornography is a statutory offence, against s.69 and s.70 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic). It is also prohibited on the Commonwealth level in the Crimes Act 1914 (Vic) Part IE.

Australia’s child sex offences laws are split between the Commonwealth and the states and territories. In Victoria (as in other states) the enforcement of child sex crimes falls within the state jurisdiction but the Commonwealth has responsibility for all child sex-related offences that occur across or outside Australia. This is especially prevalent in sex-tourism cases or offences committed over the internet. This fundamentally is due to the division of powers found in Section 51 of the Constitution.

Australia also has international obligations by signing various conventions and treaties, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This convention is considered a fundamental human right.

While the age of consent at the time of writing in Victoria is 16 (with the exception of relationships where there is a power imbalance eg. foster carer), the threshold for child pornography offences is 18 years of age. It is common for the age of persons involved in child pornography cases to be higher than the age of consent, as child pornography is legislated against exploitation of children (especially for commercial purposes). This means that a person who is 16, that has possession of sexual content of a person the same age, can technically be charged with child pornography offences.

Please note that possession of child pornography requires knowledge and possession. While the discussion is in relation to drugs, the principles of possession and knowledge can be extended to child pornography possession, or any other possession offences.

Should you require a lawyer please feel free to contact Grigor Lawyers. It is highly advisable in indictable matters that you contact a legal practitioner. Grigor Lawyers can can advise and represent you in these matters.

 

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