11.1 This chapter discusses the scope of the current Refused Classification (RC) category and the legislative framework defining RC content. Under the current framework, RC content is essentially banned, and its sale and distribution is prohibited by Commonwealth, state and territory enforcement legislation. The ALRC recommends that, under the Classification of Media Content Act, the RC category should be named ‘Prohibited’ to better reflect the nature of the category.

11.2 The RC category has been criticised for being overly broad in various ways, including by covering content that depicts or describes particular sexual fetishes, which are legal between consenting adults, or instructs in matters of crime or violence.

11.3 The ALRC recommends that the Classification of Media Content Act should frame the ‘Prohibited’ category more narrowly than the current ‘Refused Classification’ category. In particular, the Australian Government should review current prohibitions in relation to:

  • the depiction of sexual fetishes in films; and
  • ‘detailed instruction in the use of proscribed drugs’.
  • The Government should also consider confining the prohibition on content that ‘promotes, incites or instructs in matters of crime’ to ‘serious crime’.