"Defamation laws are specific and narrowly defined as to their scope of application. They do not inhibit public debate or criticism of State bodies and do not impose excessive fines or disproportionate awards of damages or legal costs."
DocumentCoE (Committee of Ministers): Recommendation Rec(2016)5 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States on Internet Freedom , para. 2.4.2
- Defamation laws should only be used to protect individuals, never to prevent criticism of the government or institutions.
- When considering claims of defamation, political figures and public officials should be subject to greater public scrutiny and criticism than other citizens.
- There should be a range of remedies available in the case of defamation, respecting the requirement that all remedies be proportional.