Defamation cases in Belgium
can be resolved through several legal methods, in accordance with the category in which the respective situation is included. Defamation
refers to any type of false statement
which is performed by a person with the intent of creating a bad reputation
for another person or a legal entity. Defamation cases
are also categorized in accordance to the means through which they are inferred on a public- they can be either written or spoken. In the situation in which a person is involved in a defamation case in Belgium
, our Belgian law firm
can offer legal assistance on the local legislation and legal representation in front of a local court.
Defamation in Belgium
It is important to know that defamation cases in Belgium are punishable by imprisonment or by imposing a high fine, as defamation is seen as a criminal offence.
As mentioned above, there are two types of defamation in Belgium, which are prescribed by the Belgian Criminal Code. The first type is the slander, which is an oral accusation that is unproven and presented to a certain public. Persons who have committed slander in Belgium can be imprisoned up to one year (and minimum 8 days).
A written false accusation
in which a person’s reputation is being dishonoured is considered a libel
. This type of defamation
is generally carried out in the journalism industry
and it is important to know that the main responsible person for a false accusation
that was written and presented to a large public is the journalist
, as prescribed by the Belgian Civil Code
However, if the identity of the respective journalist
is not public, the responsible entity will become the publishing house
or the distributor
of the respective material. Our lawyers in Belgium
can provide more details on this matter.
Online defamation in Belgium
The online environment
is less regulated by rules of law, as the sector is a very young industry. However, more and more countries are enacting regulations which offer a more regulated framework for natural persons and legal entities
operating in this environment. It is important to know that the Belgian authorities
provide regulations for defamation cases
which are encountered in the online environment
. For example, defamations sent by e-mail
are regulated by the Article 444 of the Belgian Criminal Code
The legislation is applicable to all the persons living in Belgium
, including for those who are applying for citizenship
in this country.