Nova Scotia seeks public feedback to improve anti-cyberbullying law

Justice minister required to review the current law within four years

Nova Scotia seeks public feedback to improve anti-cyberbullying law

The Nova Scotia government has begun seeking feedback from the public to improve its current anti-cyberbullying law which took effect in July 2018.

The anti-cyberbullying law, or the Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act, seeks to discourage anyone from bullying others online, through email or text messages, or sharing their intimate images without their consent.

The law allows victims and their families to participate in restorative approaches to resolve disputes, to get protection orders against alleged offenders to stop the activity, to request removal of online content, to prohibit further contact and to seek compensation. It also mandates the justice minister to review its implementation and submit a report to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly within four years.

“We want to help keep people safe online, so it is important that we review the legislation to ensure that it remains effective,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Brad Johns said. “The feedback we receive will be valuable in helping us see where we can improve the legislation.”

The consultation phase began on January 6, with the launch of an online survey. The deadline for submissions will be on January 28. A series of focus group sessions will also be conducted with various stakeholder groups, including victims and their families, provincial victim-services staff, judges, police, lawyers, scholars, advocates, and people from diverse communities.

Nova Scotia was the first province in Canada to adopt a comprehensive law addressing cyberbullying and unwanted sharing of intimate images.

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