“Mismash” of Bully Laws Causing Confusion
15 June 2012 at 4:13 pm
The National Centre Against Bullying (NCAB) has urged for greater thought to be given when considering laws and policies aimed at reducing bullying.
The national peak peak also called for stronger education policies to address the “mismash” of Australian laws that currently address the issue.
Chair of NCAB Justice Nicholson, the former Chief Justice of the Australian Family Court, said bullying was unacceptable behaviour in Australia’s society.
“Bullying is an insidious and dangerous behaviour with life-long consequences.
“Strengthening laws would highlight that the behaviour is unacceptable today in Australia. However, you also need to make bullying an unacceptable form of conduct in schools if you are going to be effective in the long term in controlling it,” he said.
NCAB is an initiative of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, who will host their 5th biennial conference at the Melbourne Convention Centre on June 15 and 16 – 'Social Media, Bullying and Vulnerability: Connect. Respect. Protect’.
Nicholson said the law has not kept up with the problem of bullying and indeed has never defined it.
Current laws on bullying differ from state to state and there is only limited Commonwealth legislation that was designed for other purposes, according to Nicholson.
“Solutions must also be found for problems created by bullying across state, territory and international boundaries.
“The law will never provide a solution to bullying, but it can perform an educative function in setting a framework and boundaries of acceptable conduct and providing appropriate sanctions for those who do exceed them when more constructive approaches have failed.”