"Criminal defamation laws are unduly restrictive and should be abolished. Civil law rules on liability for false and defamatory statements are legitimate only if defendants are given a full opportunity and fail to prove the truth of those statements and also benefit from other defences, such as fair comment."
DocumentUN (OHCHR), OAS, ACHPR, OSCE: Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and “Fake News”, Disinformation and Propaganda, para. 2.b
- 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.
- The expression of an opinion or of a true statement may never constitute a valid claim of defamation.
- There should be a range of remedies available in the case of defamation, respecting the requirement that all remedies be proportional.