No Censorship under any Circumstances, Says justice Barroso after Brazilian Supreme Court Decision

Court decides that the press can be punished for interviews with indications of falsehood


The president of the Brazilian Supreme Federal Court (STF), Luís Roberto Barroso, said that the court did not make a decision restricting freedom of expression concerning the press.

The statement came a day after the court approved a thesis foreseeing the possibility of civil liability for journalistic companies that publish interviews falsely attributing crimes to third parties.

Luís Roberto Barroso Foto: Carlos Moura/SCO/STF

Barroso said that the STF reaffirms its commitment to freedom of expression, "which, however, is not the only value that should prevail in a civilized society."

"Without censorship under any circumstances, any person, including a legal entity, may eventually be held responsible for deliberate misconduct, bad faith, or serious negligence," he said.

He added that the STF considers freedom of expression essential for democracy and reiterated the explicit prohibition of any type of prior censorship of the press.

"The press is one of the cornerstones of democracy and has in the Supreme Court one of its main guardians. We have dozens of complaints upheld to ensure freedom of the press and freedom of expression."

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