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Digital Economy Act 2017

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

25Guidance to be published by regulator

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(1)Subject to the following provisions of this section, the age-verification regulator must publish, and revise from time to time—

(a)guidance about the types of arrangements for making pornographic material available that the regulator will treat as complying with section 14(1); and

(b)guidance for the purposes of section 21(1) and (5) about the circumstances in which it will treat services provided in the course of a business as enabling or facilitating the making available of pornographic material or extreme pornographic material.

(2)Once the regulator has prepared a draft of guidance it proposes to publish under subsection (1)(a), it must submit the draft to the Secretary of State.

(3)When draft guidance is submitted to the Secretary of State under subsection (2), the Secretary of State must lay that draft guidance before both Houses of Parliament.

(4)Once the regulator has prepared a draft of guidance it proposes to publish under subsection (1)(b), it must submit the draft to the Secretary of State for approval.

(5)When draft guidance is submitted to the Secretary of State under subsection (4), the Secretary of State may approve it either without modification or with such modifications as the Secretary of State decides should be made to it.

(6)Once the Secretary of State has approved draft guidance under subsection (5), the Secretary of State must lay the following before both Houses of Parliament—

(a)the draft guidance, incorporating any modifications the Secretary of State has decided should be made to it under that subsection, and

(b)if the draft incorporates such modifications, a statement of the Secretary of State’s reasons for deciding that those modifications should be made.

(7)If, within the period of 40 days beginning with the day on which draft guidance is laid before Parliament under subsection (3) or (6), either House resolves not to approve that draft guidance, the age-verification regulator must not publish guidance in the form of that draft.

(8)If no such resolution is made within that period, the age-verification regulator must publish the guidance in the form of the draft laid before Parliament.

(9)But subsection (11) applies, instead of subsections (7) and (8), in a case falling within subsection (10).

(10)The cases falling within this subsection are—

(a)the case where draft guidance is laid before Parliament under subsection (3) and no previous guidance has been published under subsection (1)(a) by the age-verification regulator; and

(b)the case where draft guidance is laid before Parliament under subsection (6) and no previous guidance has been published under subsection (1)(b) by the age-verification regulator.

(11)The regulator must not publish guidance in the form of the draft laid before Parliament unless the draft has been approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(12)Subsections (7) and (11) do not prevent new draft guidance from being laid before Parliament.

(13)For the purposes of subsection (7)

(a)where draft guidance is laid before each House of Parliament on different days, the later day is to be taken as the day on which it was laid before both Houses, and

(b)in reckoning any period of 40 days, no account is to be taken of any time during which Parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during which both Houses are adjourned for more than 4 days.

(14)References in this section to guidance and draft guidance include references to revised guidance and draft revised guidance.

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