Law society says Bill not ready

The Fiji Law Society executives at today's Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights. Picture: ALISI VUCAGO

THE Online Safety Bill is not ready as it does not address other harmful online behaviour besides “intimate visual recordings”.

While making its submissions on the Online Safety Bill today, the Fiji Law Society told the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights they were concerned with the Bill’s current form

Fiji Law Society president Laurel Vaurasi said they welcomed the Bill however it only addressed parts of the problems in the explanatory note which the Bill wanted to achieve.

“We know that with a press of the button , the world is so accessible at your fingertips, it is instant and abuse is obviously something that is sure to come up,” she said.

“ But we see that if anything, the Bill appears to be a reaction to the recent releases with regards to intimate visual recordings and it does not address what it says with regards to cyber bullying, cyber stalking and other reports of online harmful behaviour.”

Ms Vaurasi said the Bill seemed like a ‘quick fix’ and did not specifically address other criminal behaviour online.

The Fiji Law Society also raised their concerns on the mechanics of the Commission as roles of stakeholders were not specified.

“We don’t know whether this Commission will investigate or prosecute. When that is raised we realise you need to go through this Bill again to specify which ones are proceedings for civil and also making it clear whether the prosecution is by the Commission or the police or another body,” Ms Vaurasi said.