In our response to the Law Commission’s Consultation on Intimate Image Abuse, we address the 17 summary questions posed of consultees. Our answers are based on our own significant experience of defending those accused of serious criminal offences.
As an overarching principle, we agree that this area of the law is ripe for review and consideration, and in today’s society there needs to be a greater level of protection for those who are the victims of intimate image abuse. However, we do have concerns about the substance of the Law Commission’s proposals. These concerns fall into three broad categories:
- That the scope of the proposed offences, as drafted, will result in significant over-criminalisation, particularly of young people.
- That certain aspects of the proposed reforms lack clarity, and definitions need far greater examination and refinement before they can form the basis of any criminal offence.
- That the current proposals go far beyond the very similar offences contained within current legislation, and it is as yet unclear how the proposed legislation will fit into the existing patchwork of sexual/social media/intimate image offences.