University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

The regulation of 'revenge porn' in England and Wales : are existing legal solutions effective?

Setterfield, Rosalind C. (2019) The regulation of 'revenge porn' in England and Wales : are existing legal solutions effective? Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

Rosalind Setterfield Thesis (Revisions).pdf - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (2MB) | Preview


‘Revenge porn’ is a pervasive social problem which is constantly evolving to adapt to new technologies; consequently, it has an infinite number of potential incarnations. It causes a myriad of harms both to individuals, and to wider society. Understanding the scale of the problem and the extent of the harms it causes are crucial in understanding how the law should respond, so that victims are provided with the most robust legal solutions possible. This thesis aims to evaluate the effectiveness of relevant existing legal responses to revenge porn, in England and Wales, in the civil and criminal law regimes, identifying gaps in provision and making suggestions for reform. The study also provides the theoretical foundations to justify addressing the conduct in the civil and criminal law regimes and offers robust theoretical support for the reform proposals it offers. The central argument running through the thesis is that neither the civil or criminal law regimes, in isolation, in England and Wales, is capable of vindicating all victims’ interests. While the civil law can offer victims a useful mechanism to claim damages or injunctive relief, the seriousness of the conduct also requires the blaming voice of the criminal law and the greater deterrent effect and retributive response that criminal sanctions can bring. It is suggested that adopting a hybrid approach would offer a good solution, as such an approach would enable prosecutors and victims to efficiently access the benefits of both regimes. The thesis thus recommends the availability of a criminal law that prohibits the creation and distribution of all private sexual images, with a tailored statutory tort running alongside it. This solution would provide victims with the most effective means of obtaining both criminal and civil redress, using one single, comprehensive piece of legislation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Setterfield, Rosalind C.
Date : 28 June 2019
Funders : University of Surrey PhD studentship
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00851986
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID, Alexander, Marie
Depositing User : Ros Setterfield
Date Deposited : 02 Jul 2019 14:01
Last Modified : 02 Jul 2019 14:01

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800