THE INDIVIDUAL AND TECHNOLOGY AND LAW IN PRACTICE COMMUNICATION TASK
Part A: MEDIA FILE
Kids could be charged over 'sexting' on mobiles
CHILDREN engaged in "sexting" could be charged with child sex offences under laws set to pass federal parliament.
However, the attorney-general will have discretion as to whether people under 18 are charged with child sex offences for sending sexually explicit material via their mobile phone.
The Government has accepted the recommendation of a parliamentary committee into the proposed laws which means a young person cannot be prosecuted for sexting without the consent of the attorney-general.
"The committee is of the view that the extension of this safeguard may ensure that behaviour which is not exploitative of, or harmful to, children is not captured by the child sex offence regime, particularly where that behaviour involves children themselves,'' the committee said in a report tabled in the Senate today.
Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor on Thursday welcomed the passage of legislation in the Senate that reforms various child sex offences, including child sex tourism and online offences.
The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Offences Against Children) Bill 2010 strengthens child sex tourism laws and introduces new offences for dealing in child pornography or child abuse material overseas.
The legislation strengthens existing laws by increasing to 20 years imprisonment the penalties for Australians who travel overseas to sexually abuse children.
It also introduces new aggravated offences with penalties of 25 years imprisonment where the offender was in a position of trust, such as a teacher or aid worker, the child was mentally impaired or the offender engaged in a sexual relationship with a child over a period of time.
Penalties for online child pornography offences will be increased and a new high penalty offence for online child pornography networks will be introduced.
"The sexual abuse of children is abhorrent and the government is committed to doing all it can to prevent such abuse occurring,'' Mr O'Connor said.
"The internet offers unprecedented opportunities for child sex offending, and has created greater demands for new material of ever greater levels of depravity and corruption.''
The reforms would ensure law enforcement agencies had the tools they needed to fight child sex offending wherever and however it occurred, he said.
|TITLE |‘Kids could be charged over ‘Sexting’ on mobiles’ | |SOURCE |The Australian. News Limited Publications | |DATE |March 18, 2010 | |KEY LEGAL WORDS |‘charged’ ‘offences’ ‘proposed law’ ‘prosecuted’ ‘imprisonment’ ‘penalties’ ‘sexually | | |abuse’ ‘unprecedented’ ‘reforms’ | |STATED CASES, LEGISLATION, REPORTS, INTERNATIONAL LAW, REPORTS |The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Offences Against Children) Bill 2010 | | |*which has since been passed and is now Act 2010* | |RELEVANT LEGAL STUDIES COURSE THEMES and CHALLENGES |The development and reform of law as a reflection of society | | |Role of law in regulating technology |...
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