DECRIMINALIZATION OF INSULT AND DEFAMATION IN THE JOURNALISTIC PROFESSION IN THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA THROUGH THE PRISM OF THE LAW ON CIVIL LIABILITY FOR INSULT AND DEFAMATION
Freedom of expression is one of the most important human civil and political rights guaranteed by a number of international and regional legal instruments adopted by the UN, the Council of Europe, the EU, and others. Freedom of expression, in addition to encompassing freedom to state or express opinions and ideas, also means the freedom to search for information or ideas, to receive information or ideas and to transmit information and ideas. In many countries in the world, and in this context including the Republic of Macedonia, freedom of expression is limited, which in turn limits is the respect for the freedoms and rights of others Journalists often, intentionally or unintentionally, while performing their profession, self-censoring and therefore limiting their freedom of expression to insult and libel others, particularly holders of public office. With their political power, politicians can influence judicial authorities to bring a court ruling in their favor. Because of this, journalists are subjected to strong pressure and are often sanctioned with prison sentences. Such an established system has become a serious limiting factor for the normal conduct of the journalistic profession in a number of countries, including the Republic of Macedonia. Self-censorship has become a frequent journalistic practice among journalists in order to avoid pressures from various centers of power.
Since 2012, insult and defamation in the Republic of Macedonia had the status of criminal offences punishable by imprisonment. By adopting the Law on Civil Liability for Insult and Defamation in 2012, insult and defamation no longer fall within the corpus of delicts that are in the area of criminal law. Since then, insult and defamation have been treated as misdemeanor violation.
Keywords: law, insult, defamation, violation, prison sentence Macedonia.
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