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France: Senate Rejects ‘Fake News Ban’ Bills

(Sept. 24, 2018) On July 26, 2018, the French Senate rejected two controversial bills aimed at “fighting fake news.” (Press Release, Sénat [Senate], Lutte contre la manipulation de l’information [Fight Against the Manipulation of Information] (July 26, 2018).) Background First announced by President Emmanuel Macron last January and adopted by the Assemblée Nationale (National Assembly) […]

Egypt: Female Tourist Convicted of Spreading False Rumors That Damage Country’s Reputation

(Sept. 12, 2018) In July 2018, the Cairo Misdemeanor Court found a Lebanese female tourist, Mona el-Mazbouh, guilty of deliberately spreading false rumors against Egypt that damage the country’s reputation. The court had initially sentenced the defendant to 11 years in prison before reducing the sentence later on the same day to eight years of […]

United Kingdom: Cliff Richard Wins Privacy Case Against BBC and South Yorkshire Police

(Sept. 11, 2018) On July 18, 2018, Sir Cliff Richard OBE was awarded £210,000 (about US$270,360) in general damages after the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was held liable for infringing his privacy rights over the filming and broadcast of a search of his UK property by South Yorkshire Police (SYP) in relation to allegations of […]

India: Punjab Passes Amendments to Indian Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure Making Sacrilege of Certain Religious Texts a Crime

(Sept. 10, 2018) On August 28, 2018, the Punjab Legislative Assembly (Punjab Vidhan Sabha) passed the Indian Penal Code (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018 and the Code of Criminal Procedure (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018 to introduce amendments to the Indian Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure (applicable only in the state of Punjab) that make […]

Sweden: Supreme Court Rules Live Broadcast of Rape Is Aggravated Defamation but Not Violation of Duty to Report Ongoing Rape

(Aug. 8, 2018) On July 2, 2018, the Swedish Supreme Court ruled that a man who had filmed an ongoing rape and broadcast it on Facebook Live was guilty of aggravated defamation (grovt förtal) but not of the crime of failure to report a rape. (Högsta domstolen [Swedish Supreme Court], Case No. B 3552-17 (July […]

Norway: Supreme Court Rules on Boundaries of Hate Speech

(Aug. 7, 2018) On April 12, 2018, the Norwegian Supreme Court issued a judgment under which a person was sentenced to prison for hate speech. (Norges Høyesterett [Norwegian Supreme Court] Dom [Case No.] HR-2018-674-A, Lovdata website; HR-2018-674-A, Supreme Court website.) The Court found that the man, who on August 15, 2015, had repeatedly called another […]

Brazil: Supreme Court Allows Satire of Political Candidates

(June 26, 2018) On June 21, 2018, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) ruled as unconstitutional provisions of the Elections Law that prevented radio and television broadcasters from running humorous programs ridiculing or lampooning candidates, political parties, and coalitions in the three months prior to an election. (Lei das Eleições, Lei No. […]

Israel: Constitutionality of Removal from Parliament for Incitement to Racism or Support for Armed Struggle Against the State

(June 7, 2018) On May 27, 2018, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as an extended panel of nine justices, rejected joint petitions challenging the constitutionality of amendments authorizing the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) to remove sitting members determined to have acted “in a way constituting incitement to racism or support of an armed struggle against the State […]