The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Tag: Criminal Defamation

News: Gambian criminal laws challenged in Court of Justice of Economic Community of West African States

EcowasOn Monday 7 December 2015, the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) and three exiled Gambian reporters filed a legal claim against The Gambia to challenge the pervasive culture of persecution, violence, and injustice towards journalists in The Gambia. The applicants argue that their right to freedom of expression has been violated, including through the use of criminal laws that prohibit criticism to be made of the government. Continue reading

Case Law, Strasbourg: Peruzzi v Italy, Criminal defamation is OK as long as it concerns judges – Joseph Williams

260px-Consiglio_Superiore_della_MagistraturaIn the Chamber judgment in Peruzzi v Italy ([2015] ECHR 629, only in French) handed down on 30 June 2015, the Court of Human Rights dismissed an application under Article 10 by a lawyer who had been convicted of criminal defamation of a judge.  The decision is a surprising and retrograde one in the light of the recent Grand Chamber decision in Morice v France (see the Inforrm case comment). Continue reading

Case Law, Strasbourg: Belpietro v. Italy, Newspaper Editor Criminally Liable for Senator’s Op-Ed, But Prison Sentence Violated Article 10 – Ronan Ó Fathaigh and Dirk Voorhoof

maurizio-belpietroNine years ago, in its landmark Cumpănă and Mazăre v. Romania judgment, a unanimous Grand Chamber laid down a rare absolute rule that prison sentences for defamation are never justified under Article 10 where the defamatory statements concern a matter of public interest. This rule against prison sentences included pardoned, suspended, or conditional sentences, effectively removing from European legislatures and courts the ability to impose such sentences. Continue reading

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