Defamation Laws In Albania
The Criminal Code of Albania penalizes both “defamatory expressions” and “insults.” Yes, in Albania, if you publicly chide a foe with an insulting quip, you could find yourself on the loosing end of a defamation lawsuit. Moreover, Albanian defamation laws provide protection to public officials.
Albania’s Plaintiff-Friendly Defamation Statutes
The defamation provisions in Albania’s civil code aren’t widely used. A 2002 study found that criminal defamation provisions are frequently used in Albania. Furthermore, the paper concluded that the courts frequently rule against Albania defamation defendants.
Many critics believe that Albanian defamation laws act as a deterrent to independent and critical journalism.
Article 113 of the Albanian Civil Code outlines rules regarding slander and libel. However, there are no set rules regarding damages.
Albania Defamation Reform
On March 8, 2012, Albania amended its penal code, which included the full repeal of four offenses that granted special defamation protection to government officials. Imprisonment for defamation — as well as the involvement of the public prosecutor in defamation cases — were abolished.
However, “insult” and “deliberate publication of defamatory information” remain misdemeanors that can be prosecuted privately.
As for civil code reforms, the amendments provided guidance to judges, and include reasonable recommendations for damages, so as to ensure the survival of media outlets.