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    Rights statement: This is a pre-print of an article published in Legal Studies, 30 (2), 2010. (c) Wiley.

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Criminalising fabricated images of child pornography: a matter of harm or morality?

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Criminalising fabricated images of child pornography : a matter of harm or morality? / Ost, Suzanne.

In: Legal Studies, Vol. 30, No. 2, 06.2010, p. 230-256.

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@article{381a832315554c05847dfafc949d2147,
title = "Criminalising fabricated images of child pornography: a matter of harm or morality?",
abstract = "This paper addresses the criminalisation of fabricated images of child pornography. Focusing on the new offence of possessing 'non-photographic pornographic images of children' (NPPIC) under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, it assesses whether harm- and morality-based arguments legitimate the extension of the criminal law to this activity. I contend that harm may be caused to children by NPPIC that are depictions of real child sexual abuse, and images that depict the fantasy sexual abuse of a real, recognisable child. However, it is extremely difficult to find a legitimate basis for prohibiting the possession of fantasy, completely fabricated NPPIC through a reasoned application of the harm principle and thus criminalisation of such images is not justified. Adopting a liberal perspective, I argue that moral harm-based arguments ultimately fail to convince, since legal moralism or moral paternalism should not be acceptable grounds for criminalisation. I conclude that a stronger case for criminalisation would have been made had the offence been limited to NPPIC depicting real child sexual abuse, or featuring real, recognisable children, or targeted at creators and distributors rather than possessors.",
keywords = "child pornography, criminalisation, harm principle, liberalism",
author = "Suzanne Ost",
note = "This is a pre-print of an article published in Legal Studies, 30 (2), 2010. (c) Wiley.",
year = "2010",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1111/j.1748-121X.2010.00161.x",
language = "English",
volume = "30",
pages = "230--256",
journal = "Legal Studies",
issn = "0261-3875",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Criminalising fabricated images of child pornography

T2 - a matter of harm or morality?

AU - Ost, Suzanne

N1 - This is a pre-print of an article published in Legal Studies, 30 (2), 2010. (c) Wiley.

PY - 2010/6

Y1 - 2010/6

N2 - This paper addresses the criminalisation of fabricated images of child pornography. Focusing on the new offence of possessing 'non-photographic pornographic images of children' (NPPIC) under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, it assesses whether harm- and morality-based arguments legitimate the extension of the criminal law to this activity. I contend that harm may be caused to children by NPPIC that are depictions of real child sexual abuse, and images that depict the fantasy sexual abuse of a real, recognisable child. However, it is extremely difficult to find a legitimate basis for prohibiting the possession of fantasy, completely fabricated NPPIC through a reasoned application of the harm principle and thus criminalisation of such images is not justified. Adopting a liberal perspective, I argue that moral harm-based arguments ultimately fail to convince, since legal moralism or moral paternalism should not be acceptable grounds for criminalisation. I conclude that a stronger case for criminalisation would have been made had the offence been limited to NPPIC depicting real child sexual abuse, or featuring real, recognisable children, or targeted at creators and distributors rather than possessors.

AB - This paper addresses the criminalisation of fabricated images of child pornography. Focusing on the new offence of possessing 'non-photographic pornographic images of children' (NPPIC) under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, it assesses whether harm- and morality-based arguments legitimate the extension of the criminal law to this activity. I contend that harm may be caused to children by NPPIC that are depictions of real child sexual abuse, and images that depict the fantasy sexual abuse of a real, recognisable child. However, it is extremely difficult to find a legitimate basis for prohibiting the possession of fantasy, completely fabricated NPPIC through a reasoned application of the harm principle and thus criminalisation of such images is not justified. Adopting a liberal perspective, I argue that moral harm-based arguments ultimately fail to convince, since legal moralism or moral paternalism should not be acceptable grounds for criminalisation. I conclude that a stronger case for criminalisation would have been made had the offence been limited to NPPIC depicting real child sexual abuse, or featuring real, recognisable children, or targeted at creators and distributors rather than possessors.

KW - child pornography

KW - criminalisation

KW - harm principle

KW - liberalism

U2 - 10.1111/j.1748-121X.2010.00161.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1748-121X.2010.00161.x

M3 - Journal article

VL - 30

SP - 230

EP - 256

JO - Legal Studies

JF - Legal Studies

SN - 0261-3875

IS - 2

ER -