After the senators, the deputies adopt an amendment which calls into question the law of 1881 on the press

After the senators, the deputies adopt an amendment which calls into question the law of 1881 on the press

“This is a devious continuation of the dismantling of the 1881 press law. » Lawyer William Bourdon has not let up since the discovery of the adoption by senators last week and his arrival in the Chamber on Wednesday February 7 of an amendment which infringes the law on freedom of speech. press. “This law has been a totem of the Republic for one hundred and fifty years, and ten elected officials modify it on the sly without warning anyone”is outraged, just as stunned, by his colleague Christophe Bigot, president of the Association of lawyers practicing press law – and lawyer for World.

Approved following the adoption of the law aimed at strengthening the security and protection of mayors and local elected officials, the text must allow all “holder of a public elective mandate or candidate for such a mandate” to benefit from a one-year limitation period to file a complaint in the event of defamation or public harm. Currently three months, this deadline “allows the press to avoid being subjected to legal hazards in a prolonged mannercontinues Me Bigot. But a lot of mayors or presidents of regional councils are already putting crazy pressure on the daily regional press.”

Extending the period during which action remains possible amounts to placing a sword of Damocles over press editorial staff and publishers. “The SNJ, the SNJ-CGT, the CFDT-Journalistes and the SGJ-FO, trade union organizations representing journalists in France, condemn with the greatest firmness this modification of one of the laws most protective of freedom of expression, of the freedom to inform and be informed”blames the inter-union in a text published online Wednesday early evening.

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“It’s all criticism of the action of elected officials that is concerned”

In the subject of the amendment – ​​tabled by Senator Catherine Di Folco (Les Républicains, Rhône) and the socialist group – during the examination of the text in October, the senators stipulated that “the authors of defamatory and insulting proposals against elected officials on social networks” benefit today from a “total impunity” due to the relative brevity of this deadline, while elected officials “have neither the time nor the means to carry out digital monitoring, which allows them to become aware of criminal acts in time”.

“There must be no mistake, criticism the Association of Lawyers Practicing Press Law in a press release. Under the guise of fighting against the hatred which is poured out on social networks, a legitimate objective in our democratic societies, it is all criticism of the action of elected officials which is concerned. »

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Mattie B. Jiménez

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