Thursday, December 07, 2023
Call For Legal Help: 0800 612 7211

Ask your internet law question

Online harassment law in the UK

Online harassment law in the UK

Is internet harassment a crime or a civil wrongdoing

There is often a confusion about internet harassment on the question whether it is a crime or a civil wrongdoing in the UK. In many jurisdictions in the United States harassment by itself is not a civil wrongdoing and you may only take relative action in the civil courts in relation to harassment when the harassment demonstrates itself by way of other wrongdoings, such as blackmail and extortion for example.

Can internet harassment be a criminal and a civil wrongdoing at the same time

How to prove internet harassment

Examples of internet harassment cases in the criminal and the civil courts

Can you take a private prosecution for internet harassment

Can internet harassment be a criminal and a civil wrongdoing at the same time

In the United Kingdom, internet harassment is a criminal offence and a civil wrongdoing and they both happen at the same time.  You can take legal action both in the civil and in the criminal courts to stop internet harassment. Internet harassment should be treated the same way as offline harassment but sadly, victims of internet harassment in the UK are often being treated much less favourably by the police than victims of offline harassment so often they have no choice other than take their matter to the civil courts to seek a harassment injunction . Perhaps this is because the police in the UK find it easier to investigate traditional cases of harassment.

Internet harassment is often much more prevalent, persistent and unrelenting than offline harassment. The ongoing publications which constitute online harassment tend to target the victim, causing him or her tremendous distress.

How to prove internet harassment

The standard of proof for internet harassment in a civil court is lower than in the criminal courts. However, one of the factors that is often considered by judges in a civil court, when considering whether to grant an emergency injunction to protect a victim of harassment, is whether the harassment has reached the same level that would satisfy a criminal court.

To constitute harassment, internet harassment does not have to be threatening or intimidating. It is enough for the online publications to be continuous and to cause distress and anxiety to the victim. We encourage our clients who suffer from internet harassment in the UK to make repeated reports to the police and we often provide them with good advice and tools to ensure that their reports are taken seriously and are acted upon. This is often in addition to taking their internet harassment case to the civil courts

Examples of internet harassment cases in the criminal and the civil courts

It is rare for victims of internet harassment to pursue their harasser through both the criminal and the civil court. In fact, we know of only one such internet harassment case where the same harassers were taking to a criminal and a civil court following internet harassment. The case was conducted by one of our solicitors, Yair Cohen, who after securing a conviction for harassment in a criminal court against an individual harasser, he, on behalf of his client, also won an internet harassment case in the civil court against the harasser and the web design company he was working for. In the civil court, the charges were based on the fact that the internet harassment also constituted internet defamation, misuse of private information and breach of privacy of the victim. You can also read here about more examples of internet harassment cases that have been won by Yair Cohen.

Can you take a private prosecution for internet harassment

In some cases, our team at Cohen Davis is able to initiate private prosecution for internet harassment by effectively bypassing the UK police’s resistance to seriously investigate cases of internet harassment. Depending on the nature of your internet harassment case, the initiation of private prosecution for internet harassment can be done very quickly and certainly in most cases, we are able to initiate private prosecution for internet harassment faster than the police.

To discuss your online harassment matter call us free, as soon as possible on 0800 612 7211.

  • Civil or criminal action for cyberbullying

    Is it best to take civil or criminal action for cyberbullying

    Is it best to take civil or criminal action for cyberbullying

    Cyberbullying victims often find themselves at a crucial juncture: choosing between civil and criminal action. We dive into this predicament through the lens of a specific case study. We explore the story of Peter, a victim of persistent online harassment, to illustrate the complexities and potential outcomes of each legal path.

  • Private prosecution of harassment

    Private prosecution of harassment

    How to bring private prosecution against online harassers

    Anyone or any company that is a victim of online harassment can bring their own private prosecution to the criminal courts and be protected from harassment immediately.  If you have an online harassment case and want to bring it to the criminal courts you should report the harassment to

    ...
  • Harassment by family case study

    Harassment by family case study

    What to do if you are harassed by a family member

    This case study delves into the experience of Arnold, a client who sought our firm's assistance in resolving an ongoing harassment by family issue. This article explores the intricate details of Arnold's predicament, examining its profound impact on his family, the legal counsel provided by our firm, the strategic course of action, and the ultimate success achieved.

  • What is Pile-on harassment

    What is Pile-on harassment

    Pile-on harassment may soon become a specific criminal offence in the UK

  • Are you being harassed?

    Law firm for harassment

    How to choose the right harassment lawyer

  • Our services

    Online harassment legal services

  • Tracking down internet trolls

    Tracking down internet trolls

    How to overcome the challenge of exposing your internet troll

  • Online Harassment Solicitors

    If you are a target of online harassment, it is likely that you want to know what laws your harasser is breaking and what practical steps you can take to make the harassment go away. You also need good harassment solicitors on your side.