An Analysis of the Adequacy of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Online Cyber-Harassment in English Law

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Saudi Digital Library
The primary research aim of this dissertation is to evaluate whether English civil and criminal law provides an adequate framework for deterring, preventing, and remedying cyber-harassment, or whether there is instead a need for reform. Based on the above discussion, cyber-harassment is defined as behaviour that causes severe emotional harm or upset to the victim in situations where the perpetrator knew or should have anticipated the possibility of that distress, and there was no alternative legitimate reason for that behaviour. It will answer the following research questions: 1. Are the relevant civil actions sufficiently broad to provide an effective remedy for all instances of cyber-harassment? 2. Does the civil law provide sufficient remedies against digital intermediaries to deal with instances of cyber-harassment on their platforms? 3. Are the relevant criminal offences sufficiently broad to provide an effective remedy for the most serious forms of cyber-harassment? 4. Do the civil torts and criminal offences provide sufficient protection for free speech, ensuring that legitimate speech is not unlawful?