Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland will not be left behind on internet pornography legislation - Ford 

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Justice

Justice Minister David Ford has said that Northern Ireland will not be left behind with regards to legislation on internet pornography.

The Minister was responding to proposals announced today by the Prime Minister, that possession of extreme pornography featuring rape will be a criminal offence in England and Wales.

David Ford said: “I note with interest the proposals announced today by the Prime Minister. The specific aspects of the proposals relating to internet regulation will include Northern Ireland as they are not devolved to our Assembly and will therefore benefit the UK as a whole.

”However, in relation to expanding the criminal offence of possession of extreme pornographic material to include rape I’m determined that Northern Ireland has the same levels of protection as England, Wales and Scotland and I will be considering how best to proceed in Northern Ireland.”

Notes to Editors

Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 makes it an offence to possess extreme pornographic material, which is defined in the statute. The Prime Minister announced a proposed change to the law in England and Wales to extend the definition in the offence to include depictions of rape. As the criminal law is a devolved matter, decisions on a similar move for Northern Ireland will be for the NI Assembly.

The remaining proposals in the Prime Minister’s speech regarding the internet relate to issues which are not devolved and which will apply UK-wide.

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