Civil Disputes

Protection From Harassment Act 1997

print

Protection From Harassment Act 1997

The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 was passed to codify an area of law that had been developing piecemeal through case law.

Under the terms of the Act, harassment may now be both a criminal offence and a civil wrong.

Harassment is defined to mean a course of conduct which the perpetrator knows or ought to know would amount to harassment. A course of conduct is something which occurs on two or more occasions (subject to some limited exceptions) and harassment is behaviour which a reasonable person would conclude would “alarm or distress” the person on the receiving end.

The behaviour resulting in a finding of harassment is conduct which in itself may not be unlawful - for example a particular form of speaking or by the perpetrator’s presence in a particular place – for example following the victim. The definition is very flexible.

If the civil court concludes that harassment has occurred it may grant an injunction to restrict specified behaviour.

The remedy of an injunction for harassment is in addition to the older “common law remedies” – for example trespass to land or assault – which in themselves can found an application for an injunction but are not quite so flexible.

Once a court has granted an injunction to restrain, harassment breach of this can amount to contempt of court and is punishable. However, the burden of proof for establishing this falls upon the Claimant.

A claim for harassment can be a useful weapon of last resort (after alternative approaches for example mediation have been tried where appropriate) in trying to resolve otherwise intractable problems with for example neighbours.

Christos Christou

Solicitor Advocate
CONTACT

Robert Hamilton

Solicitor
CONTACT

Stuart Grace

Solicitor
CONTACT
Contact Us
Question
Call Back
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form

Eastbourne Office

11 Hyde Gardens
Eastbourne
East Sussex 
BN21 4PP
Tel: 01323 720142
DX: 6902 Eastbourne

Lewes Office

Suite 4, Sackville House
Brooks Close
Lewes
BN7 2FZ
Tel: 01273 480234
DX: 3103 Lewes 1

Peacehaven Office

10a Horsham Avenue
Peacehaven
East Sussex
BN10 8LL

 Tel: 01273 582680