Civil liability for cyber bullying in schools: A new challenge for psychologists, schools and lawyers

Butler, Desmond A. (2007) Civil liability for cyber bullying in schools: A new challenge for psychologists, schools and lawyers. In Moore, K. (Ed.) Psychology making an impact: the Australian Psychological Society 42nd Annual Conference, 25-29 September 2007, Brisbane, Qld.

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Despite the implementation of various intervention strategies, bullying remains a common occurrence in Australian schools. Technology has now provided an insidious new weapon for bullies, who are now able to reach their target any time of the day and anywhere, including the previous safe haven of home. The internet also means an expanded audience for the bullying behaviour. However, there is a growing number of cases of the target of bullying seeking reparation for the harm he or she has suffered by taking legal action against the perpetrator for the behaviour, or the school for an alleged failure to prevent such behaviour. Cases involving traditional forms of bullying are apt to involve difficult issues for the law to resolve; cyber bullying will only increase this challenge. These difficulties are likely to be shared by consulting psychologists and psychiatrists who may be called on in evidence to distort their medical opinions in order to conform to legal formulations of the limits of liability which may, in some cases, have questionable medical validity. This paper considers the various limits on legal liability that would be applied when determining of a child against a school for the alleged failure to prevent cyber bullying and highlights those areas which may be problematic for schools, the law and/or consulting psychologists/ psychiatrists.

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ID Code: 15552
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
ISBN: 9780909881337
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Tort Law (180126)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Australian Psychological Society
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 10 Nov 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:35

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