29 April 2010

In a welcome development in the battle to protect children from sexual exploitation, the NSW Parliament last week passed reforms to child pornography laws which scrap the defence of "artistic merit".

NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos (pictured) told the media that the move would help authorities better distinguish child pornography from art. Rather than relying on the defence of artistic purpose, as has previously been the case, artists who create images of naked children will now have to pay for a Commonwealth classification to ensure against prosecution. Please click here for details.

In July 2008, following on from the controversy over the Bill Henson and Art Monthly Australia photos, ACL called for the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) to close “artistic merit” loopholes and also to consider what wider action can be taken to protect children against exploitation by the art world.

The action taken by the NSW Government is a big step forward which we would like to see followed by the other States.