On 30th September, Sarabjit Singh QC addressed the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Commercial Sexual Exploitation, on the subject of legislation concerning access to online pornography by children.
Sarabjit spoke in particular about the UK government’s failure to commence Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017, whether the UK government’s proposed online harms legislation fulfilled the aims of Part 3, and whether the Scottish Parliament had the legislative competence to introduce legislation to the effect of Part 3 in Scotland. Sarabjit identified that there is currently no legal obligation on those who make pornography available online in the UK on a commercial basis to ensure that the pornography cannot be accessed by children, and that this represents a significant gap in the law as far as child protection is concerned. Sarabjit then fielded questions from the MSPs and others present, who were keen to do whatever they could to plug this gap in Scotland.
Also addressing the Cross-Party Group were Kat Banyard, founder of UK Feminista, and John Carr OBE, Chair of the UK Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS).