The article is a contribution to the heated debate concerning legal restraints of freedom of speech in Polish law. The article describes a major criminal constraint of freedom of speech: defamation crime. The studies of that matter have been made from legal (constitutional) point of view. Firstly, the article contains a description of the Constitutional Tribunal's thesis concerning the accordance of defamation crime (article 212 of the Polish penal code) with freedom of speech and freedom of media (article 14 and 54 of Polish constitution), which was pronounced in the sentence of the Tribunal in October 2006. Secondly, the article contains a polemic with the thesis. The article has been written with the object to describe all aspects of this legal problem. The author tries to find arguments for and against defamation crime in the context of freedom of speech. In the end, the author comes to the conclusion that defamation crime is discordant with freedom of speech and postulates to remove that crime from the Polish penal code.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.