Manual on European Defamation Law
This manual on defamation law in Europe is a legal resource designed for lawyers litigating cases relating to defamation in Europe. The Manual on European Defamation Law introduces the legal concept, explains its historical relevance, and details how other fields can be impacted by defamation law.
This manual uses specific examples and European Court of Human Rights case law to build a broad understanding of defamation law and explain some of the nuances in different countries’ legal systems. The European Court of Human Rights has made several rulings regarding defamation law, but different countries’ legal systems approach defamation differently.
In the UK, defamation can occur if you publish something (e.g. by writing or speaking) about a person who you identify, or who can be identified by what you say, and the publication is likely to cause serious harm to their reputation.
In many countries, defamation is still a criminal offence. In other countries, journalists can face excessive damages if they are successfully sued for defamation.
Defamation cases are sometimes used as a tool to silence critical voices and punish dissent.
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