NEWS

Cybercrime Laws Need To Be Consistent, Says Releshni Karan

During the submissions to the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights, Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) legal advisor, Releshni Karan, highlighted that some legislations may have a higher degree of criminal sanctions compared to others.
25 Jun 2020 14:14
Cybercrime Laws Need To Be Consistent, Says Releshni Karan
Virtual submissions to the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights.

The Cybercrime Bill of 2020 needs to be harmonised with existing legislation that affect computer-related crimes to ensure consistency between the laws.

Existing legislations include the Online Safety Act of 2018, Crimes Act of 2009, Telecommunications Act of 2008, Copyright Act of 1999, Income Tax (Film-making and Audio-visual Incentives) Act of 2015 and the Proceeds of Crimes Act of 1997.

During the submissions to the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights, Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) legal advisor, Releshni Karan, highlighted that some legislations may have a higher degree of criminal sanctions compared to others.

She said the OHCHR and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime were ready to provide the Government with technical assistance on the Bill.

“Apart from legislation, there is a need for law enforcement to be provided with the necessary tools to investigate cybercrimes and these are sophisticated tools and quite different from what is used by the law enforcement agencies,” Ms Karan said.

The Bill is divided into seven parts: Interpretations and jurisdiction; offences that relate to confidentiality; integrity and availability of data and computer systems; computer and content-related offences; other offences such as identity theft; theft of communication services and disclosure during investigations and failure to provide assistance; procedural measures that need to be taken by law enforcement agencies and authorised persons; and international co-operation.

Ms Karan recommended that the Government properly define the term cybercrime and specify it because it had a different meaning to computer-related crimes and network crimes.

She added that the term “reasonable excuse” should be well established either in the case or statutory law if not an overly broad interpretation of the concept can lead to over-criminalisation and human rights violations.

For the next 30 days, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights is holding consultations on the Cybercrime Bill 2020 before it is presented to Parliament for second reading.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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