The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act (CJIA) came into law in May 2008.

This law makes it illegal to possess pornographic images which show an act which threatens a personís life, an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a personís anus, breasts or genitals, an act which involves sexual interference with a human corpse, or a person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive).

The law applies to England and Wales (so not Scotland or Northern Ireland).

"Pornographic images" includes both still photographs and videos and the acts referred to can be both consensual BDSM and non-consensual violence.

The section of the Act relating to extreme pornography takes effect from 26 January 2009.

You can download a leaflet explaining what the law says and how to protect yourself here.

One of the defences available is that the images depict the consensual activities of the owner of the image. However as many SM activities are currently illegal it is now vitally important that we get as much support as possible to change the law on consent and injuries sustained during sex.

A PDF of the relevant sections of the Act can be found here.

A PDF of the Ministry of Justice Information Sheet on this section of the CJIA can be downloaded here.

This sheet contains reference to a recent ruling (R v Porter) concerning what "possession" means in terms of Internet images. For the legally minded a copy of this judgment can be found here.

You should review your porn collection before 26 January 2009 and delete any images which you think might break this law.

Please pass this email on to anyone who may be interested or potentially affected by this law.

Here's the links to these important PDFs again

Derek Cohen
chair, the Spanner Trust

Click through to Spanner Trust website