Serious bullying may amount to a criminal offence
In 2011, the offence of stalking in section 21A of the Crimes Act 1958 was extended to cover behaviour that amounts to serious bullying. The offence of stalking carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
What behaviour leads to the application of Brodie’s law?
Brodie’s law can apply to all forms of serious bullying, including physical bullying, psychological bullying, verbal bullying and cyber bullying. It is not limited by the location at which the conduct occurred or was experienced by the victim. It can apply to bullying by young people in schools, although children under 10 cannot be charged with a criminal offence.
Brodie’s law will apply to the most serious types of bullying behaviour. For it to apply there must be a course of conduct, that is, repeated bullying behaviour. The bully must also intend that the bullying cause physical or mental harm, including self-harm, to the victim. A possible example of when the law might apply is where a victim is repeatedly being encouraged to commit suicide.
Why is it called Brodie’s law?
This law is known as ‘Brodie’s Law’ because of a case where a young woman, Brodie Panlock, was subjected to serious and ongoing workplace bullying and eventually took her own life.
Printable advice sheet
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