Australian Institute of Criminology

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'Moral panic' and the backlash against child pornography laws in north America : the difference constitutional rights make

Australian Institute of Criminology, Radha Jhappan
13 May 2005 -

Professor Radha Jhappan
Department of Political Science, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Child pornography laws in Canada and the United States have been subjected to a number of challenges. In Ashcroft in the U.S. and R. v. Sharpe in Canada, judges have struck down or created exemptions from the laws for sexualized images of children for various reasons. Two prominent concerns have been the need to protect freedom of expression and the lack of data on a causal link between looking at images and going on to commit child sexual abuse offline.

Professor Jhappan will explore the themes of childhood, the age of consent, freedom of expression and moral panic in this thought provoking presentation. Drawing on her current research, Professor Jhappan will provide a commentary on the lack of attention to these themes in Australia and New Zealand.

Radha Jhappan is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Her research interests include constitutional rights, feminist legal theory, critical race theory, political economy, and child sexual exploitation. She is currently completing a manuscript of the sexualization of children in Hollywood cinema, and a book on child pornography policy and jurisprudence in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

No paper available