IPI Project Page: Europe, Defamation Laws and Press Freedom

Defamation Laws and Press Freedom

Welcome to the home page of IPI's project on defamation laws and press freedom in Europe!

Despite ranking highly on global press-freedom measures, the vast majority of EU states maintain outdated defamation laws that do not meet international standards on freedom of expression and may affect the media's ability to deliver news in the public interest. Our project aims to  raise awareness about these laws among policymakers and the general public and generate momentum for legal reform. At the same time, we are working to ensure that European journalists are aware of international standards on defamation and freedom of expression so they can more effectively defend their rights.

In mid-July 2014, we released a comparative report on defamation law in the EU, including Opens internal link in current windowa series of charts that compare key hard data on various aspects of EU defamation laws. We also released two further documents, the results of a survey on the personal experiences of EU journalists, editors and media executives on the effects of defamation laws; and a briefing on international standards related to defamation laws (see menu on left for all documents plus other resources).

Between Oct. 2014 and Jan. 2015 IPI, in cooperation with the Opens external link in new windowMedia Legal Defence Initiative, carried out several seminars for journalists and lawyers on international standards related to freedom of expression and reputation. The seminars took place in FYROM/Macedonia, Croatia, Spain and Portugal using manuals available for download in the Opens internal link in current windowresources section of this website.

Further resources in the form of detailed, country-specific data on defamation is available at the Defamation Laws in Europe mapping tool jointly produced by the Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS) and Central European University and the Centre for Media Pluralism and Freedom (CMPF) and using data collected by IPI, CMPF/CMDS and the Share Foundation.