Published: 1 Dec 2012 | By Galina Arapova

Running in Circles – Defamation recriminalised in Russia


Over the last six months, the Russian law on defamation has been reformed twice. Sadly, the overall result of these reforms cannot be regarded as an improvement. In December 2011, parliamentarians made the long expected move of decriminalising defamation (more specifically, ‘slander’ and ‘insult’). A ‘softer’ administrative liability for these acts was introduced instead, and the Russian Code of Administrative Offences amended accordingly. Human rights organisations had been fighting an arduous and protracted battle for the decriminalisation of defamation. Several international and intergovernmental organisations issued public statements expressing support for the reforms, which they believed constituted an important step towards respect for the freedom of expression in Russia. However, the pendulum soon swung back.

To read about this law in greater detail, please follow the link below.