14.1 The Terms of Reference for this Inquiry require the ALRC to make recommendations as to other legal remedies to redress serious invasions of privacy and innovative ways in which the law may reduce serious invasions of privacy.

14.2 Many serious invasions of privacy—perhaps some of the most serious—will also amount to harassment. Harassment involves a pattern of behaviour or course of conduct pursued by an individual designed to intimidate and distress another individual. The behaviour must be genuinely oppressive and vexatious and not amount to a mere irritation or annoyance. Laws that target harassment will often also serve to protect people’s privacy.

14.3 The ALRC proposes that, if a new tort for serious invasion of privacy is not enacted, a Commonwealth harassment Act should be enacted that provides for a new tort of harassment. This Act would also consolidate and clarify existing criminal offences for harassment, including harassment using the internet.

14.4 This harassment legislation should be enacted by the Commonwealth. A federal Harassment Act will ensure consistent protection across Australia.