Harassment and stalking offences

3.25 State and territory laws criminalising harassment and stalking vary considerably depending on the jurisdiction. Legislation in Queensland and Victoria expressly prohibits ‘cyber-harassment’ committed through ‘electronic messages’[41] or by ‘otherwise contacting the victim’.[42]

3.26 The Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 provides offences for conduct amounting to harassment that occurs via a communications service (which includes the internet). Relevant offences include ‘using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence’[43] and ‘using a carriage service to make a threat’.[44]

3.27 There is a strong framework in family law to protect individuals from harassment, including harassment that occurs via electronic communications. However, this is limited to the victims of family violence.[45]