Defamation Laws In Bosnia and Herzegovina

Slander and libel laws in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Accordingly, The Law on Protection against Defamation of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (“Defamation Law”) contains provisions on what constitutes defamation, and the circumstances which exempts a person from compensation of harm for defamation.

Under Article 5 of said Law, public authorities and/or officials are barred from filing a request for compensation of harm for defamation. However, they may file for compensation in their personal capacity. Liability will be imposed if the person who caused harm knew that the expression was false or acted in reckless disregard of its veracity (Article 6 of the Defamation Law). The limitation for filing a request for compensation of harm shall be made within 3 months from the date the alleged injured person knew or should have known the expression of false fact and the identity of the person who allegedly caused the harm, but shall not exceed one (1) year from the date the expression was made to a third person.

The above law effectively decriminalizes defamation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The law encourages both the press and the injured party to resolve all disagreements in as simple as possible even without court. If however, the injured party does file a suit, the court has an obligation to examine if there is a possibility to reconcile the parties in order to avoid further proceedings. Secondly, in making a determination of compensation, the court is obliged to establish if the plaintiff or defendant had previously taken any measures to mitigate the harm caused by the defamatory character of an article of expression (issuance of an apology).