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Law Commission Documents Template

In its report,Modernising Communications Offences: A final Report (HC 547, Law Com No 399, July 20, 2021), the Law Commission of England has recommended that the following new or reformed criminal offences be enacted (at page 9):

(1) a new “harm-based” communications offence to replace the offences within section 127(1) of the Communications Act 2003 (“CA 2003”) and the Malicious Communications Act 1988 (“MCA 1988”);

(2) a new offence of encouraging or assisting serious self-harm;

(3) a new offence of cyberflashing; and,

(4) new offences of sending knowingly false, persistent or threatening communications, to replace section 127(2) of the CA 2003.

The Commission recommends that “it should be an offence for a person to send or post a communication (letter, electronic communication, or ‘article’, in the sense of ‘object’) that is likely to cause harm to a likely audience, intending that harm be caused to that likely audience. ‘Harm’ for this purpose is defined as psychological harm amounting to at least serious distress” (at page 10).