The Irish Cyber-bullying Law Conference 2013


The Irish Cyber-bullying Law Conference took place on 17th of October 2013, in Dublin and it focused on the legal challenges associated with Online Bullying.

The Conference brought together experts on Cyber-bullying, Barristers, Law Professors, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Specialists, representatives of the Irish Academic Institutions, representatives of the Internet Industry and Opinion Makers.

An expert panel of Speakers debated and discussed the issues associated with Online Harassment, Abuse of Social Media and Privacy Violation.

The Speakers present at the Conference tried to emphasize on the difficulty of characterising Cyber-bullying in legislation, whether Cyber-bullying should be made a specific criminal offence or dealt with under existing laws and the area of liability and whether an employer/publisher.

On this occasion, Paul Durrant, Chief Executive Officer of ISPAI, gave a presentation, on behalf of the Industry, on Tackling Cyber-bullying from the Internet Service Providers’ Perspective.

The Presentation addressed the following aspects:

@ Differentiation of Online Services and the interpretation of “Intermediary”

@ Pressures for Monitoring and the Risk of Privatised Censorship

@ The Role of Intermediaries and the Provision of Evidential Data

@ Dangers of loose legislative revision or so called “non-legislative measures”


Other Speakers present at the Conference:

Jim Friars, Chief Executive Officer – Irish Computer Society

Julie O’Neill, Associate – McDowell Purcell Solicitors

Dr. Aisling Parkes, Lecturer in Law – University College Cork

Murray Smith, Anti-Bullying Centre – Trinity College Dublin

Tom Murphy, Founder & Director –

Pauline Walley, Senior Counsel


Some of the Topics addressed during the Conference:

***No Specific Law Governing the area of Cyber-bullying in Ireland today – should there be or should existing frameworks be amended?

***Social Media Sites – criticised for failing to protect users BUT will changes promised by some sites go far enough to prevent Online Bullying?

***Recent Cases and Legal Implications in Relation to Cyber-bulling and Child Sexual Abuse Material

***What steps does an employer need to take before disciplining an employee for Abuse of a Social Media or eCommunications Policy?

***Recent Irish Case Law – Conclusions and Implications for similar cases

***Litigation and ISPs/Social Media Platforms

***What Legal Remedies are available to parties injured by Cyber-bullying on the Internet?

***Culpability of Schools in relation to Out of School activities – Responsible or Not?

***Data Protection Issues in relation to Cyber-bullying