EIT: Asianajajan tuomitseminen tuomarin kunnian loukkaamisesta ei loukannut hänen sananvapauttaan1.7.2015 | Oikeusuutiset
Euroopan ihmisoikeustuomioistuin (EIT) on eilen antamassaan tuomiossa katsonut, että asianajajan oikeudenkäynnin ulkopuolella tuomariin henkilönä kohdistama kritiikki, joka sisälsi mm. vihjauksia tuomarin tahallisista virheistä ja jopa virkavirheistä, oli ylittänyt hyväksyttävyyden rajat eikä 400 euron sakko sekä 15.000 euron vahingonkorvaus tuomarille ollut ollut kohtuuton seuraamus asianajajan toiminnasta.
In [a] Chamber judgment in the case of Peruzzi v. Italy (application no. 39294/09) the European Court of Human Rights held, by a majority, that there had been:
no violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case concerned the criminal conviction of Mr Peruzzi, a lawyer, for having defamed an investigating judge (Judge X) in the context of proceedings regarding the division of an estate in which he had been acting for two clients. Mr Peruzzi sent a circular letter to Judge X and other judges of the Lucca District Court containing the text of a previous letter he had written to the Supreme Council of the Judiciary complaining of Judge X’s conduct.
The Court found in particular that one of the two criticisms levelled against Judge X by the applicant had implied that the former had disregarded his ethical obligations as a judge or had even committed a criminal offence. However, Mr Peruzzi had not sought to establish the truth of his allegations of wrongful conduct. The Court considered that Mr Peruzzi’s conviction could reasonably be considered “necessary in a democratic society” in order to protect the reputation of others and maintain the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.
The present case was to be distinguished from the case of Nikula v. Finland, in which the criticisms regarding a prosecutor had been made in the context of judicial proceedings. The issue in the present case concerned remarks made by the lawyer outside the courtroom, as in the case of Morice v. France (where they had been made in the media).
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