14.1 This chapter discusses enforcement of classification laws under the existing Commonwealth-state cooperative scheme for the classification of publications, films and computer games (the classification cooperative scheme); and schs 5 and 7 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth).

14.2 Under the classification cooperative scheme, the enforcement of classification laws is primarily the responsibility of states and territories. These arrangements contribute to problems of inconsistency in offence and penalty provisions between Australian jurisdictions and lack of compliance with classification laws. These problems and possible solutions to them are discussed in this chapter.

14.3 An important part of the rationale for having a new National Classification Scheme is to avoid inconsistency in enforcement of classification laws and associated penalties. The ALRC concludes that the Australian Government should, therefore, be responsible for the enforcement of classification laws and makes proposals for a regime of offences and penalties.

14.4 For political or pragmatic reasons, it may be considered necessary that the states and territories retain some enforcement powers. The chapter presents an alternative framework for a National Classification Scheme, applicable if the Australian Government determines that the states and territories should retain enforcement powers. In this circumstance, the ALRC proposes that a new intergovernmental agreement be entered into under which the states and territories agree to enact legislation to provide for the enforcement of classification decisions made under the new Classification of Media Content Act, but only with respect to publications, films and computer games.