romanian english

Carmen MOLDOVAN: Reflections on the constitutionality of criminalizing insult and slander

Abstract: The debate on the compatibility between freedom of expression and the criminalization of insult and slander characterizes all legal systems and the general trend seems to be the acceptance of compatibility. The Romanian criminal system makes exception by decriminalizing insult and slander approach that leads to a highly permissive regulation on the free speech that places the protection of human dignity as a fundamental value guaranteed by Article 1 of the Romanian Constitution on an inferior position. Criminalizing insult and slander is considered an admissible limit on the right to free expression by the national regulations of the European States and by the European jurisdiction justified by the aim of protecting the rights of others. The recent ruling of the Romanian Constitutional Court establishes once more the balance between the two conflicting rights and sets the framework for criminalizing insult and slander.

Key-words: free speech, human dignity, criminal regulations


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