Monaco

 CountryType of Law 
 
 

Criminal Defamation

The Law of 15 July 2005 on Public Freedom of Expression foresees the following offences:

Defamation (Art. 24): Defamation committed against private individuals through the press or other forms of public dissemination is punishable with imprisonment from one month to one year and/or with a fine according to Art. 26(2) of the Criminal Code. When committed against candidates for national or local office, the penalties for defamation against public officials apply.

Defamation is defined in Art. 21 as the allegation or imputation of a fact that harms a person’s honour or good name.

Defamatory allegations can always be proved true except in circumstances listed in Art. 27 , including if the allegation concerns a person’s private life, or refers to facts that occurred more than 10 years prior or refers to an

Insult (Art. 25): Insult committed against private individuals is punishable with six days to two months in prison and/or a fine according to Art. 26(2) of the Criminal Code.

Insult is defined in Art. 21 as any insulting or denigrating expression that does not involve the imputation of a fact.

Criminal Defamation of Public Officials

Art. 23 of the Law of 15 July 2005 on Public Freedom of Expression criminalises defamation committed via the press or other means of public dissemination against a public official or other person with a public mandate, an elected member of the National Council or a municipal council or a religious minister paid by the state. The act is punished with imprisonment from three months to two years and/or with a fine according to Art. 26(4) of the Criminal Code.

Art. 25 of the Law of 15 July 2005 on Public Freedom of Expression criminalises insult committed via the same means against the bodies or persons defined in Arts. 22 and 23. The act is punished with imprisonment from six days to six months and/or a fine according to Art. 26(3) of the Criminal Code.

Aggravated insult (outrage) against public officials (Art. 164 Criminal Code): Aggravated non-public insult via words, gestures or threats against public officials, including government officials and members of the National Council or municipal councils. The act is punishable with imprisonment from three months to one year and/or a fine according to Art. 26(3) of the Criminal Code.

Aggravated insult (outrage) against members of police forces (Art. 165 Criminal Code) is punishable with imprisonment from one to six months and a fine according to Art. 26(2) of the Criminal Code.

Criminal Defamation of the Head of State

Offence toward the Prince (Art. 58 Criminal Code): Publicly offending the Prince is punishable with imprisonment from six months to five years and a fine according to Art. 26(4) of the Criminal Code. If not committed publicly, the act is punished with imprisonment from six months to three years and a fine according to Art. 26(3) of the Criminal Code.

Offence toward the family of the Prince (Art. 59 Criminal Code): Publicly offending the family of the Prince is punishable with imprisonment from six months to three years and a fine according to Art. 26(3) of the Criminal Code. If not committed publicly, the act is punishable with imprisonment from three months to one year and a fine according to Art. 26(2) of the Criminal Code.

Criminal Defamation of the State and its Symbols

Art. 22 of the Law of 15 July 2005 on Public Freedom of Expression criminalises defamation committed via the press or other means of public dissemination against bodies of public administration, courts and military institutions. The act is punished with imprisonment from three months to two years and/or with a fine according to Art. 26(4) of the Criminal Code.

Art. 25 of the Law of 15 July 2005 on Public Freedom of Expression criminalises insult committed via the same means against the bodies or persons defined in Arts. 22 and 23. The act is punished with imprisonment from six days to six months and/or a fine according to Art. 26(3) of the Criminal Code.

Attack on the economic reputation of the State (Art. 71(1)): Publicly disseminating false accusations or information liable to directly or indirectly undermine public confidence in the financial and economic situation of the Principality. The penalty is imprisonment from six months to three years and a fine.

Criminal Defamation of Foreign Heads of State

No provisions.

Criminal Defamation of Foreign States and Symbols

No provisions.

Criminal Defamation of the Deceased

No provisions.

According to Art. 26 of the Law of 15 July 2005 on Public Freedom of Expression, acts of defamation and insult committed against the memory of the dead are not subject to liability unless the accused intended to harm the honour of the living heirs.

Criminal Blasphemy

Profaning the objects of a religion (Art. 207 Criminal Code) through words or gestures, on occasion of a religious ceremony, whether inside or outside places of worship; or insulting religious ministers in relation to their function. Either act is punishable with imprisonment of one to six months and/or a fine according to Art. 26(2) of the Criminal Code.

Criminal Statistics

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Criminal Law and Media

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Recent Legal Changes

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Notes and Acknowledgements

Information for Monaco was originally collected by IPI as part of a study commissioned by the Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). It is reprinted here with the permission of the OSCE. Last update: March 2017.

The information contained in this database is for informational and advocacy purposes only. If you are a journalist facing a defamation claim, you should seek legal advice from a qualified attorney. However, if you are unable to find such an attorney, IPI may be able to assist you in doing so. Please contact us at info(at)ipi.media.

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