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Title: A comparative study of laws prohibiting stalking and similar forms of harassment
Authors: Cutajar, Davinia
Keywords: Stalking -- Law and legislation -- Malta
Harassment -- Law and legislation -- Malta
Law enforcement -- Malta
Issue Date: 2005
Citation: Cutajar, D. (2005). A comparative study of laws prohibiting stalking and similar forms of harassment (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: Stalking behaviour has been imposed on others for centuries, however, this phenomenon has started to attract legal redress only in the last ten to twenty years. As will be better elucidated in this thesis, the author came to the conclusion that the reason why stalking behaviour started being perceived as an offence is liked to the fact that in recent years, the value of privacy increased. As the value of privacy increased, stalking and similar behaviour started being condemned. Stalkers are not always mentally disturbed individuals who stalk only famous people such as movie stars or politicians. This particular category of stalkers is the one which most often makes headlines, however, as the author explains in the first chapter of this thesis, ex-partners, work-colleagues or even neighbours can also behave like stalkers. The author of this thesis firmly believes that stalking should be taken seriously and punished accordingly as a criminal offence. Most people fail to appreciate that the apprehension caused by the mere knowledge that one might be watched, can be an incredibly traumatising experience for a person. The victims of stalkers live in constant fear of what might happen next and this is actually the worse part of the whole traumatic experience of being stalked. Unfortunately, many jurisdictions, such as Italy and Malta, have not yet conceived specific laws to protect citizens from this unsettling and possibly dangerous behaviour. In this thesis, the author examines the various laws which a person being stalked in Malta may refer to in an attempt to obtain some form of legal redress against his/her stalker. The conclusions of this brief study are truly disappointing as, unless a stalker does something, the victim of stalking in Malta will have to bear with the persistent intrusions upon his life. For this reason, the author proposes the introduction of a specific law intended against stalking, which recognises that though the various acts may, in themselves, be perfectly legal, the totality of the conduct is criminal and consequently punishable. As Jack Straw (British M.P) once said: 'Stalking is an event which ruins the lives of ordinary people and involves a situation whereby the totality of the conduct is infinitely worse than the sum of its composite parts.
Description: LL.D.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacLaw - 1958-2009

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