The Criminalization of Cyberbullying among Children and Youth

Liat Franco, Khalid Ghanayim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article provides the data necessary for molding an appropriate public policy that would address aggressive behavior among children in the digital domain as it provides relevant background information on the phenomenon, maps the available existing legal models, and suggests the reframing of these tools with a view to mitigate cyberbullying.
This article creates a new model which is based on the formulation of three “aggravating categories” that will help in classifying those violent online behaviors that constitute acts that merit and justify criminalization. These are the degree of sexuality, the degree of intensity, and the degree of violence associated with the harmful communication, with a mere one of the three sufficing for the application of the criminal offense. The objective of these aggravating categories is to allow us, and all those involved in the chain of
criminalization (enforcement agencies included) to distinguish between morally tainted behaviors that should not be criminalized, and which need to be treated extra-criminally and occasionally extra-judicially by the key players that surround children (such as the education system and the children’s parents), and anti-social behaviors that inflict severe harms on social values and thus necessitate some form of legal response
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)i-49
JournalSanta Clara Journal of International Law
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019


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