The fundamental right to insult our leaders: Three worrying cases in France, the West Bank and right here – Adam Wagner

22 03 2013

mahmoud-abbas1Comparing different countries’ legal systems is a dangerous game, but three cases came to light last week which beg to be compared. The criminalisation of criticising political leaders has always been a hallmark of illiberal societies, and it seems that the tradition is still going strong today: in France, the West Bank and the UK too.

First, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that a man should not have been convicted of a criminal offence for waving a placard at (as he was then) President Sarkozy reading “Casse toi pov’con” (“Get lost, you sad prick”). Read the rest of this entry »