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Govt to take advice on amending anti-bulling law after court ruling

The Gibraltar Government on Thursday said it respected the decision of the Court of Appeal in the GHA bullying case, adding that it will take advice on how best to amend the anti-bullying legislation at the heart of the case.

It was reacting after the court said the “puzzling” legislation was unclear on core concepts including the definition of what constituted bullying.

But the government rejected the GSD’s claim that the decision “unequivocally vindicated” its position when the law was debated in Parliament.

The GSD at the time abstained from voting on the legislation, which it said was flawed.

In a statement earlier this week, the GSD’s Damon Bossino said the Bill had been “vehemently defended” in Parliament by the Chief Minister, who he said had been unwilling to accept criticisms or suggestions for improvement.

The Government described this as a “blatant mischaracterisation” by Mr Bossino of what had transpired in Parliament.

“In fact, it is false for Mr Bossino to say that the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, was unwilling to accept any possible criticisms or suggestions for improvement,” a spokesman for No.6 Convent Place said.

It added that a record of Parliamentary Hansard showed “the complete opposite.”

Hansard shows that Mr Picardo had told Parliament he did not discount that “we could come back in the future and amend the legislation.”

“It may be that we need to tighten in some areas that [Mr Bossino] has suggested that we should loosen,” Mr Picardo said at the time.

“It may be that we need to loosen in some of the areas he has not suggested that we should loosen.”

He later added: “It may be that all of those things are relevant in the future, but not a reason not to progress with this legislation today.”

At the time that the legislation was debated in Parliament, Mr Picardo said Mr Bossino had “failed to make” any proposed amendments at the Committee Stage of the legislation, which the Chief Minister said the Government had been “willing to consider.”

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