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 Tuesday, February 20 2024 15:27
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Courts impose higher fines on media outlets for libel - CPFE

Courts impose higher fines on media outlets for libel - CPFE

ArmInfo. Over the last two years, 71 new claims were filed against media representatives (35 in 2022, 36 in 2023), of which 56 were accepted for proceedings (25 in 2022, 31 in 2023), the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression (CPFE) has stated, referring to the results of monitoring conducted August 31 to December 31, 2023. 

It is noted that the vast majority of cases accepted by the court  relate to insult and/or slander contained in media publications. In  2022 there were 22 such cases, in 2023 - 29.

"According to the methodology, cases in which at least 1 judicial act  was issued were isolated from the cases under consideration and  analyzed in detail according to 7 criteria. A total of 15 cases were  analyzed, and in 10 cases claims were filed back in 2021, and  decisions were made only in 2023; in another 5 cases, claims were  filed in 2022.

Of these, 7 acts have entered into legal force, that is, disputes  have been resolved, and in relation to 8, 1 or more acts have been  adopted, however, legal proceedings are still ongoing at the time of  publication of the results of this study.

A comparison with previous studies shows that the number of lawsuits  filed on the grounds of insult and libel reached 66 in 2021, which is  the same as in 2019, while their number dropped sharply in 2022,  reaching the lowest level in the last 4 years, and A certain increase  was recorded in 2023. 

"This fact gives grounds to conclude that the courts in Armenia are  still not completely independent and in some cases show unjustified  favoritism towards officials, which does not correspond to the  democratic principle of the rule of law. This is a vicious phenomenon  that creates serious problems from the point of view justice and  public confidence in it.

"Data from our long-term research show that judicial decisions taken  in cases of insult and libel are often not fully motivated.  Meanwhile, in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the  European Convention, court decisions must have compelling reasons  that will show that the parties have been heard and that will ensure  public control over the administration of justice," the Committee  said.  

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