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Title: The regulation of 'revenge porn' in England and Wales : are existing legal solutions effective?
Author: Setterfield, Rosalind C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 3370
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2019
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'Revenge porn' is a pervasive social problem which is constantly evolving to adapt to new technologies; consequently, it has an infinite number of potential incarnations. It causes a myriad of harms both to individuals, and to wider society. Understanding the scale of the problem and the extent of the harms it causes are crucial in understanding how the law should respond, so that victims are provided with the most robust legal solutions possible. This thesis aims to evaluate the effectiveness of relevant existing legal responses to revenge porn, in England and Wales, in the civil and criminal law regimes, identifying gaps in provision and making suggestions for reform. The study also provides the theoretical foundations to justify addressing the conduct in the civil and criminal law regimes and offers robust theoretical support for the reform proposals it offers. The central argument running through the thesis is that neither the civil or criminal law regimes, in isolation, in England and Wales, is capable of vindicating all victims' interests. While the civil law can offer victims a useful mechanism to claim damages or injunctive relief, the seriousness of the conduct also requires the blaming voice of the criminal law and the greater deterrent effect and retributive response that criminal sanctions can bring. It is suggested that adopting a hybrid approach would offer a good solution, as such an approach would enable prosecutors and victims to efficiently access the benefits of both regimes. The thesis thus recommends the availability of a criminal law that prohibits the creation and distribution of all private sexual images, with a tailored statutory tort running alongside it. This solution would provide victims with the most effective means of obtaining both criminal and civil redress, using one single, comprehensive piece of legislation.
Supervisor: Sarch, Alexander ; Newhouse, Marie Sponsor: University of Surrey
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral