Disclaimer: The usual. I don’t claim to be right, this is just my point of view. Feel free to question everything, and stir up healthy discussion.
The controversy around this topic is mostly based on ethics. Especially in the Neo-Wicca communities, the concept of “harm none” usually conflicts the idea of banishing or binding rituals. If you aren’t one to follow the rule of “harm none”, or following a general idea of following “the path of least harm”, performing banishing or binding rituals can still be conflicting for one main ethical question- How much responsibility are you willing to accept by performing this spell?
As with any spellwork or ritual, the power is in the hands of the user- the Witch that bends the universal energies to their will- so it’s generally accepted that they must also take responsibility for the consequences at hand.
So what about binding and banishing that seems so unethical? More commonly most binding rituals and some banishing rituals focus on binding the person, rather than the energy. Like a love spell, you cant force a particular person to love you, but you CAN emit love energy to draw likeness to yourself without forcing anyone in particular to bend to your will. The same with binding, you can’t bind a person from doing harm without consequence. This isn’t anything we’ve learned from watching ‘The Craft’ where one witch chants “I bind you from doing harm, harm to others and harm to yourself” and she ends up being the more powerful witch out of the group and the bad witch on a power trip ends up in a mental asylum by the end of the movie. While this seems somewhat likely, binding has consequences, and a less known concept that with performing a binding spell, you are binding your energy to them. You wouldn’t really want that, would you? And if you are one to follow the rule of “harm none”, forcibly binding or banishing someone IS doing harm by interfering with their will. But if you still feel a binding or banishing is necessary, just remember that you should take full responsibility for the energy you send out to perform the spell or ritual.
So, from here, what do you do about people- or rather the energy? Like I mentioned before, you can focus on repelling negative energy. Mirror spells especially are just as effective as they have always been, and not only is it beneficial for you in doing less harm, but beneficial for the negative person in question to learn from their own behavior. You can cleanse yourself and your private space of any negative energy people leave behind with candles and incense, rejuvenating stones like amethyst, or stones that repel negative energy like jet. Your options are endless when you don’t want to focus on the person and risk interfering with their will.
And that, as they say is that!