Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008

Under the UK Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 it is an offence to possess extreme pornographic images.  

Unfortunately it is conceivable that IT professionals managing networks, abuse teams, and others charged with moderating online services could be exposed to this type of content.

Organisations must therefore put in place appropriate procedures to deal with these illegal images found on its computer systems and/or networks

The Act makes further provision about criminal justice (including provision about the police) and dealing with offenders and defaulters. It

  • makes further provision about the management of offenders;
  • amends the criminal law;
  • makes further provision for combating crime and disorder;
  • makes provision about the mutual recognition of financial penalties;
  • makes provision for a new immigration status in certain cases involving criminality;

Offences


UK Legislation

Part 5 sections 63 - 79 deal with criminal law. It is an offence to possess extreme pornographic images but conceivable that IT professionals managing networks, abuse teams, and others charged with moderating online services could be exposed to this type of content. The Internet Watch Foundation has been charged with managing the reporting mechanism for extreme pornographic images under section 63.

Organisations must put in place appropriate procedures to deal with these illegal images found on its computer systems and/or networks

Section 74 amends the Public Order Act 1986 to include hatred on the ground of sexual orientation.


Penalties


Penalties etc. for possession of extreme pornographic images

(1) This section has effect where a person is guilty of an offence under section 63.

(2) Except where subsection (3) applies to the offence, the offender is liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding the relevant period or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or a fine or both.

(3) If the offence relates to an image that does not portray any act within section 63(7)(a) or (b), the offender is liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding the relevant period or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or a fine or both.

(4) In subsection (2)(a) or (3)(a) “the relevant period” means—

(a) in relation to England and Wales, 12 months;

(b) in relation to Northern Ireland, 6 months.


Reference


Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008

UK/2008/C/4