Romanian Constitutional Court reintroduces insult and slander. Insult and slander re-entered Romanian Penal Code, after the Romanian Constitutional Court deemed unconstitutional the 2010’s decision saying that insult and slander are not in effect, therefor they cannot be incriminated, Agerpres writes.
So what do Penal Code says in the articles abrogated by art.I po.56 in Law 278/2006?
- art.205 – Insult “the damage made to one person’s honor or reputation with words, gestures or any other means, or by exposing that person to mockery, is punishable by fine. The same punish also applies when a person is attributed a defect, illness or infirmity that, even if real, shouldn’t be unveild. The criminal action starts after damaged part submits a complaint. Criminal responsibility is removed when the parties reconcile”;
- Art.206 – Slander “Saying or blaming in public, by any means, a determinant fact regarding a person that, if it were true, would expose that person to a criminal, administrative or disciplinary sanction or to public blame, is punished with a fine between RON 250- 13,000. The criminal action starts after the damaged part submits a complaint. Criminal responsibility is removed when parties reconcile
- Art.207 – Proof of truth “The proof of truth for the statements or blames is admissible, if the statement or the blame was made to protect a legit interest. The fact that proof of truth is made for doesn’t represent insult or slander offence
ActiveWatch reacts: Criminal censorship is reintroduced; a legislative chaos will result
ActiveWatch reacted to Romanian Constitutional Court’s decision to reintroduce insult and slander into the Penal Code and considers this will generate a new legislative chaos with results difficult to predict, including possible defavorable sentences for Romania at ECHR for the lack of predictability in the laws used to judge journalists
According to the organization, criminal sanctions will have limited effects over those that thow accusations without backing them up with proofs, which act on bad faith and only mime the public interest.
“As reality shows, criminal penalties impact mainly over those journalists that do their jobs in good faith. Even if the risk to be punished is more reduced, the criminal legislation has a self-censorship effect for them, as studies made on journalists from multiple countries show”, ActiveWatch adds.