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Re St Peter and St Paul's, Chingford Arches Court of Canterbury: Cameron, Dean; Kaye and Tattersall Chs, July 2007Telecommunications – pornographic material

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 December 2007

Justin Gau
Affiliation:
Barrister, Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese of Lincoln
Ruth Arlow
Affiliation:
Barrister, Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese of Chichester
Rights & Permissions[Opens in a new window]

Abstract

Type
Case Notes
Copyright
Copyright © Ecclesiastical Law Society 2008

Pulman Ch had dismissed a petition for the installation of telecommunications equipment in the tower of the church on the basis that it was wrong for a church to facilitate transmission of pornography to mobile telephones, or to gain financial advantage thereby, however slight or modest. The court heard fresh evidence, including the use of filtering techniques used by network providers. The court noted that, if the network provider used the church to enhance its network, then it would be making material more readily available to people within the catchment area, but it did not follow that they would thereby be actively promoting pornography. The responsibility for accessing the Internet and the choice of site lay with the individual. The argument that no mobile phone equipment should be placed in the church unless and until all pornography was excluded was rejected on the basis of the advantage to adults and children of having good reception when communicating. The court concluded that the chancellor had failed to carry out any balancing exercise at all in this case and that therefore it could consider the matter afresh. The court identified that the risk to children associated with the Internet is that they may view pornography or be drawn into sexual abuse. The court identified the filtering techniques available to parents and the telecommunications companies and concluded that they were a reasonable and welcome response to countering the risk to children. The court went on to consider the possibility of adults accessing pornography and ruled that to bar something which will be of benefit to the public generally because there was a risk that some will be able privately to access material that many Christians and others deplore is to take an unbalanced approach. A more balanced approach would be for Christians to work in conjunction with others at improving standards of sexual morality in society generally. The court granted the faculty, subject to conditions, inter alia, that the company should apply a filter by default on Internet content identified to the operator as unsuitable for customers under 18. [JG]

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Re St Peter and St Paul's, Chingford Arches Court of Canterbury: Cameron, Dean; Kaye and Tattersall Chs, July 2007Telecommunications – pornographic material
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Re St Peter and St Paul's, Chingford Arches Court of Canterbury: Cameron, Dean; Kaye and Tattersall Chs, July 2007Telecommunications – pornographic material
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Re St Peter and St Paul's, Chingford Arches Court of Canterbury: Cameron, Dean; Kaye and Tattersall Chs, July 2007Telecommunications – pornographic material
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