Foreword | "The Internet has increased the range, volume and accessibility of sexually abusive imagery, including child pornography. Child pornography depicts the sexual or sexualised physical abuse of children under 16 years of age. Australia has joined many other nations in an international effort to combat this multi-faceted global menace that combines both heavily networked and highly individualised criminal behaviour. This paper examines the typology of online child pornography offending, as well as law enforcement responses to the problem. This work is a result of a collaborative program between the Australian Institute of Criminology and the Australian High Tech Crime Centre".  Toni Makkai - Acting Director

Child pornography existed before the creation of the Internet. It is not possible to say whether the advent of the Internet has fuelled the demand for child pornography and expanded an existing market, or whether it simply satisfies in new ways a market that would have existed in any event. It is clear, though, that the Internet provides an environment for the proliferation of child pornography and the creation of an expanding market for its consumption. This paper explores three important questions:

Introduction

This brief looks at sentences imposed in New South Wales for the offences of possessing child pornography under s 578B(2) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and publishing child pornography under s 578C(2A) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The maximum penalty for the possession offence is the equivalent of $11,000 or two years imprisonment or both, and for the publishing offence it is $110,000 or five years imprisonment or both.

The Judicial Commission of New South Wales provided sentencing data for the three-year period from January 2000 to December 2003 (Judicial Commission of NSW 2004). In this three-year period, on 63 separate occasions sentences were imposed for the offence of possessing child pornography. Sentences were imposed for the offence of publishing child pornography on 14 occasions. Possession of child pornography is a summary offence that ordinarily is dealt with by a magistrate in the local court, and 62 cases were disposed of in that court. One case was dealt with in the district court as would occur where a possession charge is used as a back-up charge to other more serious offences brought to the district court. The publication charge can be dealt with either summarily or on indictment and 11 were dealt with summarily, while three cases were dealt with in the district court.