The UK Coroners and Justice Act 2009 sets out offences for non-photographic visual depictions of child sex abuse displayed online.
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 makes it illegal to own pornographic pictures depicting under-18s participating in sexual activities, or depictions of sexual activity in the presence of someone under 18.
IT professionals need to be aware of the offences which this Act carries and factor in protection as part of their IT strategy to deal with illegal or illicit images.
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 amends the law relating to coroners, to investigation of deaths and to certification and registration of deaths;
The Act also
- amends the criminal law;
- makes provision about criminal justice and about dealing with offenders;
- makes provision about the Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses;
- makes provision relating to the security of court and other buildings;
- makes provision about legal aid and about payments for legal services provided in connection with employment matters;
- makes provision for payments to be made by offenders in respect of benefits derived from the exploitation of material pertaining to offences;
- and amends the Data Protection Act 1998.
Online non-photographic visual depictions of the sexual abuse of children are covered by Sections 62 to 69 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, if it is proved that the image:
1) is pornographic;
2) is grossly offensive, disgusting, or otherwise of an obscene character;
3) focuses solely or principally on a child’s genitals or anal region, or portrays any of the following acts:
- the performance by a person of an act of intercourse or oral sex with or in the presence of a child;
- an act of masturbation by, of, involving or in the presence of a child;
- an act which involves penetration of the vagina or anus of a child with a part of a person’s body or with anything else;
- an act of penetration, in the presence of a child, of the vagina or anus of a person with a part of a person’s body or with anything else;
- the performance by a child of an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive or imaginary);
- the performance by a person of an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive or imaginary) in the presence of a child.
Offences against sexual orientation
The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 amended Part 3A of the Public Order Act 1986 to extend hate crime legislation to cover "hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to sexual orientation (whether towards persons of the same sex, the opposite sex or both)."
To prevent that Act being used to inhibit freedom of speech on the subject of homosexuality, the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act also inserted a new section 29JA, entitled"Protection of freedom of expression (sexual orientation)" but sometimes known as the Waddington Amendment (after Lord Waddington who introduced it).
"In this Part, for the avoidance of doubt, the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred."