1Western Sydney University, Bexley, Australia
This presentation explores the increasing trend for countries around the world to criminalise sexually explicit material portraying fictitious characters who appear to be children. Traditionally, child abuse material has been defined in legal instruments as images depicting real children. However, the rhetoric of crime prevention and concerns about child sexual abuse in the 21st century have led to the expansion of the law to include material depicting fictional children. This has led to an international divide to whether this unduly interferes with individual freedoms. This presentation is based on an extensive four-year socio-legal study that examined the possible theoretical justifications for criminalising FICTIONAL child abuse material (“fantasy material”). Therefore, this presentation provides exclusive insight into the significant findings of the research, which have been published earlier this year in the book titled: “The Criminalisation of Fantasy Material: Law and Sexually Explicit Representations of Fictional Children”.
Dr Hadeel Al-Alosi is a lecturer in the School of Law at Western Sydney University and is also a lawyer. She has conducted extensive socio-legal research on Australia’s child abuse material and has a strong interest in the work of community legal centres and addressing access to justice issues for vulnerable groups. Hadeel’s main research interests explore sensitive topics, including child sexual abuse, domestic and family violence and the use of technology to facilitate such abuse. Her research spans across multiple disciplines, such as law, criminology, and psychology. She is regularly invited to present as an expert speaker at conferences and enjoys spreading her research interests by engaging with the media.