Canadian Legal Approaches to 'Cyberbullying' and Cyberviolence: An Overview

49 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2016 Last revised: 7 Oct 2016

See all articles by Jane Bailey

Jane Bailey

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Date Written: September 20, 2016


As early as the mid 1990s Canadian economic and social policy prioritized getting young people connected to what was then referred to as the "information super highway". By the late 1990s policy discourse had expanded to include the negative consequences of connectivity, including technologically facilitated harassment and violence, frequently referred to as "cyberbullying". This overview canvasses the legal responses that have followed at the national, provincial and territorial level, including human rights, education, civil, administrative/regulatory and criminal law responses. It concludes that the complexity of the issues, as well as the underlying equality issues that are often at stake, necessitate a multi-pronged approach more heavily weighted in favour of human rights and educational responses.

Keywords: Cyberbullying, Cyberviolence, Human Rights, Criminal Law, Education Law, Privacy

JEL Classification: K10, K39

Suggested Citation

Bailey, Jane, Canadian Legal Approaches to 'Cyberbullying' and Cyberviolence: An Overview (September 20, 2016). Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2016-37. Available at SSRN: or

Jane Bailey (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
613-562-5800 ext. 2364 (Phone)
613-562-5124 (Fax)

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