Examination of Witness

Part of Voyeurism (Offences) (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 10th July 2018.

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Lisa Hallgarten:

In terms of having conversations with young people, the kind of nuance you are talking about is probably not going to have any traction either way. Knowing that something is illegal gives a strong message that it is wrong, but much more important than understanding that it is considered to be wrong is understanding why it is considered to be wrong. Talking about the distress it causes and the impact it has on its victims is probably as important as just saying something is wrong. We know that when you tell young people something is wrong, that does not necessarily seep through, as opposed to exploring with them what somebody might feel to be a victim of this. As for whether the law will be more or less effective depending on the wording of the clauses, I would think that that is probably not that relevant for young people.

My concern with the law would be whether it is clear that it can be implemented in a way that has some form of nuance. Some very good work was done by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety around sharing sexual images and an understanding that when young people share sexual images they have made, it has to be in the public interest for a prosecution to go ahead. My concern would be to have any Bill on this that unnecessarily criminalises a young person who does not fully understand why what they have done is wrong.