DPP issues “revenge porn” guidance – an exercise in stating the obvious?

DPP issues “revenge porn” guidance – an exercise in stating the obvious?

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On 7 August 2015, the DPP issued guidance on the newly in force so-called “revenge porn” offence. A press release about the guidance can be viewed here.

Overview

The new offence was enacted by the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 and came into force in April 2015. Whilst it features neither the word “revenge” or “porn”, the CPS and the media seem determined to refer to the new offence in such terms, notwithstanding that the material included may not constitute “pornography” or may not need to be shared for the purpose of revenge.

Guidance

The guidance lists a number of “completed” cases, setting out the brief circumstances and resultant sentences. Additionally, it lists a number of ongoing cases, and their circumstances. Quite what purpose that serves (aside from risking the identification of victims) is unclear.

At the top of the press release, there are statements from both the DPP and the Attorney General. Neither particularly say much about the guidance and firmly fall into the category  of being an exercise in PR.

The press release then summarises key points of the guidance. Regrettably this appears to merely summarise the elements of the offence (what needs to be proven for the offence to have been committed) and other provisions under which the same or similar activity could be charged.

Comment

All in all, it seems like rather a waste of time; an exercise in stating the obvious. This is perhaps something we have come to expect from the CPS press machine however, as the guidance on prosecuting social media offences was little more than a statement of the law and common sense.

If the CPS need the DPP and Attorney General to explain the law to them, then we are in quite a state. Surely they have better things to do?

2 COMMENTS

  1. Surprisingly I actually agree with you it appears to be a lot words to say not an awful lot.

  2. The DPP states the obvious.

    And the Argentinian gentleman in charge at the Vatican is of the RC persuasion.

    And ursines defecate where arboreals abound.

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