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Defamation. From Calabria a judgment with a european reach

The Court of Reggio recognized the intimidating effect of the claim for a million euro. The bill before the Senate is still in the doldrums (and needs to be rewritten)

The drip wears away the stone. Finally the mantra of the battles waged for years by Ossigeno also enters the language of judgments: recklessness, intimidation, unfounded and excessive damage claims. Words and concepts contained in the judgment by the Reggio Calabria District Court with which a demand of a former regional governor for compensation of one million euros was rejected.

The action was defined “radically unfounded”, the damages requested “very significant” and therefore “suitable for its purpose of intimidating the recipient” and the judge also identifies “reckless profiles”. It was enough to read the articles – the judgment states – to understand that there was no reason for going to court.

In this judgement a European echo can be felt. The legal principles consistently established in the judgments of the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg have been applied. As such, not everything is standing still. Who is staying behind?- We are sorry to say that it is the Italian Parliament which pretends not to understand the urgency of a new law on defamation. But this is not just about the approval of the bill now at its fourth reading in the Senate which should be trashed. We must rewrite the rules inspired, in fact, by the civil and criminal jurisprudence of the ECHR and the provisions of article 10 (the right to information) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Just for the record, we would like to say that since 1955 the Convention has been an integral part of the national legal order (ranking as sub-Constitutional in the hierarchy of sources) and that the Constitution and the constitutional jurisprudence of the ECtHR judgments should be applied by the courts of nation states.


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