THE parents of three children have been banned from allowing them to watch R-rated movies.
In an extraordinary move, a Family Court judge has ordered the parents not to allow any of their children, aged from seven to 13, to watch DVDs restricted to those over 18.
Justice Margaret Cleary also banned the mother and father from letting the children watch videos, DVDs, games or other sound or visual media classified as not being suitable.
Dr Glenn Cupit, vice-president of the Australian Council on Children and the Media, said it was interesting that a judge felt so strongly about the issue to make such an order.
He said he had never heard of such an order.
“Classifications are there for a purpose and the reality is that a lot of parents ignore the fact that reputable people who aren’t wild wowsers have looked at these things and said children should not be exposed to this stuff,” Dr Cupit said.
Justice Cleary, sitting in NSW, last month ordered that the children live with their mother and spend time with their father at the mother’s discretion, effective for a year.He said it was extraordinary that a judge had the courage and confidence to act. The ban was put in place when the mother of the children went to the Family Court of Australia to vary orders relating to the children.
The Australian Law Reform Commission is reviewing the National Classification Scheme.
In September, the commission put forward 43 proposals for reform. Among the proposals on which it is seeking comment is changes to the classification categories to help parents choose what their children can watch.