Submission to the Victorian Parliament's Law Reform Committee on the Inquiry into Sexting: Submission by the Australian Privacy Foundation

Dan Jerker B Svantesson, Australian Privacy Foundation

Research output: Other contributionSubmission to governmentResearch

Abstract

That, under s 33 of the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003, an inquiry into the creating, sharing, sending or posting of sexually explicit messages or images via the internet, mobile phones or other electronic devices by people, especially young people, (known as 'sexting') be referred to the Law Reform Committee for consideration and report no later than 30 June 2012*, including:

1. the incidence, prevalence and nature of sexting in Victoria;
2. the extent and effectiveness of existing awareness and education about the social and legal effect and ramifications of sexting;
3. the appropriateness and adequacy of existing laws, especially criminal offences and the application of the sex offenders register, that may apply to the practice of sexting, particularly with regard to the creation, possession and transmission of sexually suggestive or explicit messages and images in circumstances where a person:
a. creates, or consents to the creation of, the message or image for his or her own private use and/or the use of one or more other specific persons; or
b. creates, or consents to the creation of, the message or image and without their knowledge and/or their consent the message or image is disseminated more broadly than the person intended.
*The reporting date was extended to 30 December 2012 by resolution of the Legislative Assembly on 28 March 2012. The reporting date was further extended to 18 April 2013 by resolution of the Legislative Assembly on 12 December 2012. The reporting date was further extended to 30 May 2013 by resolution of the Legislative Assembly on 17 April 2013.

During the course of the Inquiry the Committee received 60 written submissions and convened public hearings with 45 witnesses. The Committee also met with key individuals and organisations during overseas consultations. The report is the culmination of all of the evidence presented to the Committee.

The report contains 14 recommendations that the Committee believes will protect people from the harms caused by non-consensual sexting. The report also recognises that some sexting between young people should not be treated as child pornography, and recommends that new defences to child pornography offences be introduced to Victorian legislation.

Dr Dan Svantesson, Vice-Chair, Australian Privacy Foundation
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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