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Classification of child exploitation material for sentencing purposes: call for submissions

The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council (QSAC) is calling for submissions on its review into the classification of child exploitation material (CEM) for sentencing purposes.

The review will assess whether improvements to the current classification system are required and, if so, what alternatives should be implemented.

What is CEM?
Material defined as CEM in Queensland is variously referred to as ‘child exploitation material’, ‘child abuse material’ and ‘child pornography’. Under Queensland law this incorporates all material that depicts or describes children in a sexual context, in an offensive or demeaning context or being subjected to abuse, cruelty or torture.

How is CEM currently classified?
An average CEM case involves more than 100,000 individual files which require review — this potentially includes photos, video and/or evidence of internet streaming.

Queensland has adopted the Oliver scale to classify the severity and type of images involved.

This nine-level classification tool categorises images according to the kinds of activities shown.

Currently officers must view all images to initially assess whether the files are CEM under existing Queensland legislation and then categorise them according to the relevant Oliver scale.

As well as being traumatic for the officers involved, this is time consuming, potentially diverts resources from identifying victims of this crime — Queensland children — and is linked to time delays in sentencing offenders.

Call for submissions
We are seeking your views to inform QSAC’s review on classification of CEM for sentencing purposes.

We invite you to make a submission based on the 10 questions in the consultation paper, or any issues arising from the terms of reference.

Written submissions

Please complete and include a submission form with your written submission.


Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council
GPO  Box  2360
Brisbane  Qld  4001

Submissions are due by Monday 10 April 2017.

All submissions to the consultation paper, as well as additional consultation conducted with key agencies, will inform our response to the terms of reference.

The final report is due to the Attorney-General on 31 May 2017. The report will also be released publicly via Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council.

Comment now


Submit your response now. Closes 10 April 2017, 11.59pm.

Contact details

Last updated
 13 March 2017

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