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About Case Law

Case Law

Constitutional Court of Republic of Slovenia
05/02/2009
Legal provision National law (including criminal law)
Key facts of the case:

The lower court ruled in favour of an individual (who was a policeman at the time) who claimed damages against a publishing house for having violated his personality rights (libel action).
The publishing house filed a constitutional complaint alleging a violation of its right to freedom of expression by the decisions of the lower court.

Main reasoning/argumentation:

In cases which concern a limitation of the freedom of expression regarding journalistic reporting, it must be especially carefully reviewed whether there exist constitutionally admissible reasons for such a limitation. In the case at issue, two circumstances were essential for the Court’s decision in favour of the right to freedom of expression after having weighed the constitutional rights which were in collision, namely:
1) it concerned an instance of journalistic reporting on a subject which is very important for the public, and
2) the defendant was holding public office and therefore his conduct was subject to greater scrutiny in the press and in the public.

Key issues (concepts, interpretations) clarified by the case:

Holders of public office enjoy a narrower scope of personality rights when they come under scrutiny by the media in relation to the public office they fulfil.

Results (sanctions) and key consequences or implications of the case:

The Constitutional Court found a violation of freedom of expression and reversed the judgment of a lower court, ordering a new trial.