Can College Bullying Quantity to a Criminal Offence?

October 9, 2023by Naomi Cramer

Bullying includes an individual who’s often of better bodily power and/or social energy performing aggressively in direction of or in any other case belittling their goal.

College bullying happens when college students bully one another, usually for social standing inside the cutthroat world of pupil recognition.

For the victims of faculty bullying, and their parents, the expertise could be extremely disheartening and irritating.

Many could also be questioning whether or not the legal regulation can apply to acts of faculty bullying which go to far.

Right here’s a rundown of how the legal regulation can apply to incidents of faculty bullying.

How widespread is college bullying?

College bullying is extremely widespread in Australian faculties. One systematic evaluate and meta-analysis discovered that 1 in 4 college students had ever been a sufferer of faculty bullying and simply over 15% had skilled bullying not too long ago.

Experiences of faculty bullying are extremely correlated with poor psychological well being and college outcomes, with some analysis indicating it could begin younger folks on a path in direction of delinquency and legal behaviour.

Victims of bullying in Australia have been proven to have very excessive charges of hysteria and despair, which additionally enhance their threat of suicide.

Age of legal accountability

Whether or not a college bully could be charged with a crime relies upon whether or not they have reached the ‘age of legal accountability’.

Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)

That age is contained part 7.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) which applies throughout Australia and states that, ‘A child beneath 10 years outdated will not be criminally liable for an offence’ beneath that Act.

Part 7.2 of the Criminal Code Act incorporates the widespread regulation presumption in relation to children aged no less than 10 however lower than 14 years of age, stipulating that:

(1) A child aged 10 years or extra however beneath 14 years outdated can solely be criminally liable for an offence if the child is aware of that his or her conduct is incorrect.

(2) The query whether or not a child is aware of that his or her conduct is incorrect is one in every of truth. The burden of proving that is on the prosecution.

crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

The ten 12 months age of legal accountability can also be enshrined in part 5 of the Youngsters (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 which offers that, ‘It shall be conclusively presumed that no child who’s beneath the age of 10 years could be responsible of an offence’.

Nevertheless, not like Commonwealth laws, the regulation in New South Auckland doesn’t include the widespread regulation presumption regarding children aged no less than 10 however lower than 14 years of age.

Discrete offence of assaults at faculties

College bullying which comes within the type of bodily violence may give rise to quite a few offences together with widespread assault, assault occasioning precise bodily hurt, recklessly wounding or inflicting grievous bodily hurt or deliberately inflicting grievous bodily hurt.

Nevertheless, quite a few discrete school-related offences are outlined beneath part 60E of the Crimes Act 1900.

Part 60E(1) outlines an offence the place an individual  assaults, stalks, harasses or intimidates any college pupil or member of workers of a college whereas the coed or member of workers is attending a college, though no precise bodily hurt is occasioned. This carries a most penalty of 5 years imprisonment.

Part 60E(2) outlines an offence the place an individual  assaults a college pupil or member of workers of a college whereas the coed or member of workers is attending a college and by the assault events precise bodily hurt. This carries a most penalty of seven years imprisonment.

Part 60E(3) outlines an offence the place an individual wounds or causes grievous bodily hurt to a faculty pupil or member of workers of a college whereas the coed or member of workers is attending a college, and  is reckless as to inflicting precise bodily hurt to that pupil or member of workers or every other individual. This carries a most penalty of 12 years imprisonment.

The offence of stalking and harassment

A chronic marketing campaign of bullying may give rise to an offence of stalking and harassment.

Part 13 of the Crimes (Home and Private Violence) Act 2007 outlines an offence of stalking or intimidating one other with the intention of inflicting the individual to worry bodily or psychological hurt. This offence carries a most penalty of 5 years imprisonment and/or a superb of $5,500.

‘Stalking’ contains:

  • following the opposite individual about;
  • watching or frequenting the individual’s residence, work, enterprise, or anyplace the opposite individual frequents for social or leisure actions; and
  • contacting the opposite individual by way of the web or different technological means.

‘Intimidation’ means:

  • conduct amounting to harassment or molestation;
  • approaching the opposite individual by any means together with cellphone, SMS and e-mail with the intention to make them worry for his or her security;
  • conduct inflicting the opposite individual to apprehend violence or harm to themselves or their property; and
  • conduct inflicting an individual with whom you’ve gotten a home relationship to apprehend being injured

To determine the offence, the prosecution should show past affordable doubt that you simply:

  • you stalked or intimidated one other individual; and
  • you meant to trigger the opposite individual to worry bodily or psychological hurt.


More and more, college bullying can happen within the type of on-line threats or harassment.

Underneath part 474.17 of the Criminal Code Act 1995  a Federal offence  making use of the place an individual utilizing a  carriage service (such because the web) to menace, harass or trigger offence carries a most penalty of 5 years imprisonment.

The offence applies if a “affordable individual” would regard the conduct as “menacing, harassing or offensive”.

Going to court for a legal matter?

If you’re going to court over a legal case, name Sydney Criminal lawyers anytime on 9261 8881 to rearrange a free first convention throughout which one in every of our skilled defence lawyers will assess the case, advise you of your choices and the easiest way ahead, and struggle for the optimum consequence.

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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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