Harmful Digital Communications (1.5 hrs CPD)

5:00pm Tuesday, 10 August 2021
6:30pm Tuesday, 10 August 2021
CPD Training
At your desk
online online
online, AUCKLAND 1000
New Zealand

Presented by, Clive Elliott QC and Richard Marchant, this webinar considers the Harmful Digital Communications Act. It contains a range of measures to prevent or reduce the impact of cyberbullying and electronic harassment or intimidation. Harmful digital communications include using the internet, email, apps, social media or mobile phones to:

  • send or publish threatening or offensive material and messages;
  • spread damaging or degrading rumours about you;
  • publish online invasive or distressing photographs or videos.

Penalties under the Act are significant. Causing harm by posting digital communication is punishable by up to 2 years' imprisonment or a maximum fine of $50,000 for individuals and a fine of up to $200,000 for companies.

Clive Elliott QC and Richard Marchant will:

  • consider the rationale of the Act/legislative background
  • unpack the communication principles, how to prove them and their counterpart remedies.
  • explore civil proceedings, including the types of orders that can be sought and the powers of the court.
  • dissect this new offence, possible defences and possible alternative charges for plea discussion.
  • consider whether the act is fit for purpose or seeks to erode fundamental rights and freedoms.

Our Speakers:


Clive Elliott QC is a barrister, patent attorney and arbitrator. Before going to the Bar, he was a partner and headed the litigation team at Baldwin Shelston Waters.

Clive practises in both New Zealand and Australia. He specialises in IP, technology and media areas and has appeared as lead counsel in a number of leading intellectual property cases, many of which are reported. He has been named in the  International Who's Who of Patent Lawyers and of Internet & E-Commerce Lawyers and the World Trademark Review’s World's Leading Trademark Professionals.

Clive is also an experienced advocacy trainer. He is a member of the NZBA's Mastering Advocacy Faculty and has in the past been a part-time lecturer in the post-graduate Masters course at both the Department of Law and the Department of Commercial Law at Auckland University.


Richard Marchant is an Auckland-based barrister who has extensive experience in prosecuting regulatory cases. He also appears as defence counsel and as Amicus. He has particular expertise in criminal jury trials, disciplinary proceedings and coronial inquests. He has prosecuted over 25 homicide trials as lead counsel and assisted in the prosecution of Q v Kahui and Q v Dixon. He continues to prosecute serious crime as a panel member for two Crown Solicitor's offices.

Richard spent the early part of his career at Meredith Connell before travelling overseas to prosecute local body and regulatory offences in London. A year after his return to New Zealand, Richard re-joined Meredith Connell, prosecuting serious crime primarily in the High Court. He became a partner of the firm in 1995, opening and leading its Manukau office. He was chairman of the firm's board from 2008 until 2013. Richard has prosecuted numerous homicides and other serious criminal cases in the High and District Courts.

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Contact Information

Please click here to contact Lisa Mills.

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Additional Information


This webinar is 1.5 hours long.

Live stream or CPD compliant recording:

This webinar is available as a live stream. If you have registered but are unable to attend on the day you will be sent the on-demand link approximately one week after the live event.


This webinar is free to NZBA members. Log in with your email address to access this.

All non members will be charged $110 (GST inclusive).

Group Bookings: please contact Lisa Mills.

Cancellation-Refund Policy

If a participant is unable to attend the seminar, a substitute participant is welcome to attend at no additional cost. If you cannot find a substitute or attend the live webinar yourself,  a recording together with CPD material can be made available to you shortly afterwards. A refund less a service fee of $25.00 will apply to all cancellations (received in writing) before midday Monday 3 August 2021. There will be no refunds for cancellations received after that time. The NZBA reserves the right to cancel or reschedule seminars if necessary.

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