Regional Conference on Defamation and Freedom of Expression - Strasbourg, 17-18 October 2002

The conference in pictures!

Video record of the debates


Journalists in south eastern Europe invited to share experience of defamation

Journalists from south eastern Europe were invited to send accounts of their experiences of defamation to a Council of Europe conference held in Strasbourg on 17 and 18 October. Their stories reached 50 or so judges, lawyers, members of Parliament, journalists and other media experts from South-Eastern Europe. They helped to build up a picture of the problems faced by journalists and add to the testimony of experts from countries in the region to map out ways to improve laws on defamation and libel. The conference was organised thanks to a financial contribution by the Luxembourg Government, which had chaired the Committee of Ministers until 7 November 2002.


A CD recording of selected presentations and parts of the discussions will be made available after the conference – Contact:




Useful links

Council of Europe – Media Division

Conference on Media freedom – Luxembourg, 30 Sept/1 Oct 2002

Themes of the conference

- defamation: the concept and the legal framework according to European standards;

- overview of relevant South-East European legislation;

- defamation of public figures - - excessive penalties and their effect on free speech;

- the responsibility of journalists;

- towards an improved defamation legislation and journalism practice in South-Eastern Europe.


Conference conclusions


Protection of journalists: changes are needed in South-East Europe


Maud de Boer-Buquicchio: Balance must be found between freedom of expression and protection of personal dignity

''The big challenge is to make the media in South-Eastern Europe the true, open forum for public discussion it should be'', stressed the Deputy Secretary General at the opening of the conference on defamation and freedom of expression.

Full speech


Vesna Alaburic: Good laws must be matched with maturity in political life

Defamation means to write or to broadcast information about somebody which is not true and which is capable of harming his or her reputation and honour




Maud De Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Anne Kayser, Deputy to the Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the Council of Europe

Gent Ibrahimi, Executive Director, Institute for Policy and Legal Studies, Albania

Peter Noorlander, Legal Officer, Article XIX

Gojmir Bervar, Radio Slovenija, Slovenia