News 27 Jun 11

NGOs Welcome Montenegro's Decriminalisation of Libel

Decision, taken in line with European advice, should improve freedom of expression and reduce workload on judiciary.

Pobjeda, Dan

After months of debate, Montenegro's parliament has deleted libel as a criminal act. The government had previously noted that decriminalisation of libel was one of the European Union's recommendations as a means to improve media freedom. 

According to the newly adopted amendment to the criminal code, libel cases may still be brought in civil lawsuits. 

Human Rights Action, one of several NGOs that has been calling for the decriminalisation of libel, welcomed parliament’s decision, stating that it would improve freedom of speech.

HRA said that it would also lead to the more efficient work of the judiciary, as it would reduce the number of cases. 

The president of parliament's administrative board, Radivoje Nikcevic, told the daily newspaper Dan that decriminalisation of libel would make it easier to decide on issues concerning the withdrawal of immunity of MPs' facing libel lawsuits. 

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