Brazilian Supreme Court Decides that The Press Can Be Punished for Interviews with Indications of Falsehood

The precedent was criticized, before the judgment, by entities that defend freedom of the press


On this Wednesday (29), the Supreme Federal Court approved a thesis regarding the possibility of civil liability for journalistic companies that publish interviews falsely accusing third parties, when there is concrete evidence that the statements are untrue.

The thesis was drafted by Minister Alexandre de Moraes, with changes proposed by Luís Roberto Barroso, Cármen Lúcia, and Cristiano Zanin.

Moraes está sentado e fala ao microfone, vestido com a toga
Alexandre de Moraes and other justices in a plenary session this Wednesday (29). - Rosinei Coutinho/Divulgação

The text states that "full constitutional protection of freedom of the press is consecrated by the combination of freedom with responsibility, prohibiting any kind of prior censorship but allowing the possibility of subsequent analysis and accountability."

This accountability, which may include content removal, would be for "provenly injurious, defamatory, slanderous, false information, and in relation to possible material and moral damages."

The judgment this Wednesday had been provoking reactions from entities that defend freedom of the press and expression in the country.

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