Law as an Ally or Enemy in the War on Cyberbullying: Exploring the Contested Terrain of Privacy and Other Legal Concepts in the Age of Technology and Social Media
66 UNB LJ 3-50
48 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2017
Date Written: 2015
This article focuses on the role and limits of law as a response to cyberbullying. The problem of cyberbullying engages many of our most fundamental legal concepts and provides an interesting case study. Even when there is general agreement that the problem merits a legal response, there are significant debates about what that response should be. Which level and what branch of government can and should best respond? What is the most appropriate legal process for pursuing cyberbullies—traditional legal avenues or more creative restorative approaches? How should the rights and responsibilities of perpetrators, victims and even bystanders be balanced? Among the key legal concepts that will be explored are privacy, free speech, liberty, and equality. These are the cornerstones of Canada’s constitutional framework and striking the proper balance between them is a challenging and complex business.
Keywords: cyberbullying, online harassment, privacy law, Charter, equality, schools, students
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