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Exploring the educative role of judges’ sentencing remarks: an analysis of remarks on child exploitation material


Hunn, CM and Cockburn, H and Spiranovic, C and Prichard, J, Exploring the educative role of judges' sentencing remarks: an analysis of remarks on child exploitation material, Psychiatry Psychology and Law pp. 1-18. ISSN 1321-8719 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 The Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law

DOI: doi:10.1080/13218719.2018.1478337


The online viewing of child exploitation material (CEM) is a seemingly intractable problem. Evidence suggests that CEM is viewed not only by the paedophilic ‘other’, but by people without prior offending histories or pre-existing sexual interests in children. Studies emphasise the role of offence-supportive attitudes in enabling first-time offending. Relatedly, nascent research indicates that some sections of the Australian community express ambivalence about the harms involved in viewing such material. Taking a crime prevention perspective, this article considers the need and value of tackling such attitudes and the educative role that judges’ sentencing comments may play. In doing so, this article presents a content analysis of judicial comments from Victoria and Tasmania. Encouragingly, results show that judges provide some explanation of the harms involved in most instances. Yet, some of the explanations that judges give may be perpetuating, rather than reducing, ambiguity about the wrongfulness of ‘just’ viewing CEM online.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:child exploitation material, crime prevention, educative role, judges, sentencing remarks
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Public law
Research Field:Public law not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Other law, politics and community services
Objective Field:Other law, politics and community services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hunn, CM (Ms Charlotte Hunn)
UTAS Author:Cockburn, H (Dr Helen Cockburn)
UTAS Author:Spiranovic, C (Dr Caroline Spiranovic)
UTAS Author:Prichard, J (Professor Jeremy Prichard)
ID Code:127288
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Office of the Faculty of Law
Deposited On:2018-07-20
Last Modified:2022-07-05

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