Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Cyber-bully laws need to be workable

Andrew
LITTLE
Justice Spokesperson
Clare
CURRAN
Communications and Information Spokesperson

4 April 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Cyber-bully laws need to be workable

The Government's latest efforts to address cyber-bullying are welcome, but hardly fit with its slash and burn approach to the justice sector, Labour says.

Justice Minister Judith Collins announced the Government will introduce a new law to deal with bullying in on-line forums, including setting up a new agency and “allowing” complaints to go to court.


"While it is good to see Ms Collins moving to update laws that were written prior to the development of social media, any new legislation must strike the correct balance between penalising bullies and protecting freedom of expression,” Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said.

“I would be concerned if this legislation was to make something illegal on the internet that wouldn’t be illegal if it was published in another form.

“While cyber-bullying as a method of bullying is unique – no other form of harassment is so easy to create and distribute - legislation should be consistent between the physical and cyber worlds. Preventing bullying in both cases is not just about legislation, but also education and awareness.”

Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little said the Government’s justice reforms were already impacting on district courts, with some forced to close and others having to pick up case back-logs.

“In view of all the other cost-cutting measures already happening in the justice sector, you do have to wonder how realistic it is that people will be able to take serious cyber-bullying complaints to court.

"Ms Collins has a track record of appearing to make significant change, but closer inspection usually reveals that it is window-dressing. Most recently she failed to fully consider all the implications around planned changes to Family Court procedures and was forced to back down on them.

"Cyber-bullying is an important issue. Let’s hope Ms Collins is not misleading people about the actual nature and extent of these planned changes,” Andrew Little said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Max Rashbrooke: On How To Make Government
More Open

It’s true that New Zealand scores well on many international rankings of openness... Those findings are all important, and welcome. But we cannot ignore the fact that there are still serious problems.

For a start, those international surveys, while often complimentary, have also pinpointed major weaknesses: political donations are badly regulated, for instance, and appointments to government boards frequently go to those with strong political connections. More>>

 
 

In Court: Hamilton Student's Lawsuit Over Climate Change Policy

A law student from Hamilton is preparing to challenge the Government in the High Court on Monday over what she says is a “failure” to properly address climate change. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement. As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

ALSO:

Visions: National Party Conference

National Party leader Bill English today outlined his vision to take New Zealand into the 2020s and his key priorities for the next Parliamentary term – including further raising incomes and reducing taxes. More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog