Australian National Classification Scheme
'The National Classification Scheme has, since the early 1970s, primarily revolved around the principle of classification rather than censorship, although any classification scheme is also likely to involve some censorship, based upon what has come to be known as the ‘community standards’ test' [CANCS-1].
Retrieved from the Classification Website [CANCS-2]:
The National Classification Scheme is a cooperative arrangement under which the Classification Board classifies films (including videos and DVDs), computer games and certain publications, and the Classification Review Board can review the Classification Board’s decisions. The Scheme commenced on 1 January 1996.
The National Classification Scheme was established following recommendations made by the Law Reform Commission about censorship procedure in 1991 (Report No. 55). One of the recommendations was the establishment of a legislative framework which would enable the Commonwealth, States and Territories to take a national approach to classification. The Commonwealth, States and Territories entered into the Intergovernmental Agreement on Censorship which underpins the Scheme. This agreement confirms that certain changes to the Scheme, such as amendments to the National Classification Code and classification guidelines, must be considered and agreed to by Censorship Ministers.
The Classification policy, including the criteria applied by the Boards in making their decisions, is jointly agreed by the Australian Government and State and Territory Censorship Ministers.
The Classification Board is an independent statutory body, responsible for classification decisions. A single National Classification Code, agreed between the Commonwealth and the States, sets out the principles to be followed in making classification decisions. General criteria for the various classification categories have also been agreed. The Classification Review Board, also an independent statutory body, can review original classification decisions in certain circumstances and provide a fresh classification decision.