Ukraine’s Supreme Court against criminalizing defamation


In its comments and proposals regarding the draft law “On amendments to the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code” (on defamation), the Supreme Court has stated that it would not be expedient to criminalize defamation.

The Draft Law No. 2086 envisages criminal liability for defamation, supplementing Articles 151-1 of the Criminal Code.  As the subject of this crime, the draft law defines only “officials who occupy a responsible or particularly responsible post”.

The Supreme Court considers criminalization of this behaviour as legally unwarranted. It points out that the law did impose criminal liability for defamation earlier, but that this had been abolished in 2001 when the new Criminal Code was introduced.  

The Court stresses that Articles 28 and 32 of the Constitution, as well as Articles 297 and 299 of the Civil Code establish the right of each individual to respect for dignity and honour, as well as inviolability of their business reputation. Where these rights have been infringed, a person may turn to the courts to defend them. Civil legislation also envisages compensation for moral damages incurred through the dissemination of untruthful information or reports (Article 23 of the Civil Code), and believes that this sufficiently protects people’s rights in such situations.

From information at  

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