Thursday, 17 December 2020
Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017: Report and Final Stages
I just want to make a point on the Bill. The one thing I am very clear on is that there is no end to the amendments we could actually consider. People have been contacting me about this over the years, but also recently. Since there is such an urgent need for legislation in this area, our objective should be to establish a framework. As I said in my opening comments on this, the framework should not be the final word, by any stretch of the imagination. We will be building on it, firstly as we learn how it is operated. New technologies will have to be addressed in the future. I am anxious to have the Bill passed in both Houses before Christmas and assented to by the President so we will give relief to people who are suffering right now and who will suffer over the Christmas break from online bullying, harassment and the sharing of their images. They want to know that there is a robust legal framework to protect them.