Criminal Defamation Laws in The Caribbean

Contents
Critics Are Not Criminals: Comparative Study of Criminal Defamation Laws in the Americas

I. Antigua and Barbuda

A. Criminal Laws Restricting Freedom of Expression

Defamation remains a criminal offence in Antigua and Barbuda under the Libel and Slander Act, which dates to 1876 and was last updated in 1976. The Act, which governs both criminal and civil libel, "is identical to laws in Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis and is a near-exact replica of Lord Campbell's Act, a British libel law first enacted in 1843."175 Additionally, the Seditious and Undesirable Publications Act and the Small Charges Act include provisions that criminalize seditious libel, insult to authority, and obscene publication or offense to public morality.

1. Defamation

Antigua and Barbuda's the Libel and Slander Act expressly criminalizes defamatory libel, providing that "[i]f any person shall maliciously publish any defamatory libel" he will be punished with up to one year in prison with/or a fine.176 If the defamatory libel is maliciously published by the offender when he or she "know[s] [it] to be false," the offender may be punished with up to two years in prison and a fine. Separately, the Act also maintains a prohibition against the publishing or threatening to publish a libel with the intent to extort (that is, to gain from the libel), which is punishable by up to three years in prison "with or without hard labor."177

Additionally, the Libel and Slander Act punishes the malicious or reckless publishing of any defamatory statement other than a defamatory libel in relation to another person with one year in prison or a fine.178 Moreover, the publication of any defamatory statement in relation to the personal character or conduct of any person is punishable by up to nine months in prison or a fine.179 A "defamatory statement" is defined in the Act to be "a statement concerning any person which exposes him to hatred, ridicule, or contempt, or which causes him to be shunned, or avoided, or which has a tendency to injure him in his office, profession or trade."180

2. Seditious Libel or Insult to Authority

Antigua and Barbuda also criminalizes seditious libel and slander (that is, libel or slander with the "seditious intent," as defined below) under its Sedition and Undesirable Publications Act, which dates to 1938 and was last amended in 1956.181 In particular, this Act penalizes libel with seditious intent and the possession of seditious publication. The former offense includes attempts to act with seditious intention, the utterance of seditious words, and the printing, publishing, sale, reproduction or import of a seditious publication, and is punishable with imprisonment of up to two years with or without hard labor or a fine not exceeding EC$5,000 (approximately US$1,850).182 Possession of a seditious publication, without lawful excuse, is punishable with imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of up to EC$3,000 (approximately US$1,111), with or without hard labor.

A "seditious intent" is defined in the Act as an intention to: bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the sovereign or the administration of justice; incite people to crime; raise discontent among citizens; and promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different classes.183

3. Obscene Publication or Offense to Public Morality

Lastly, under the Small Charges Act, Antigua and Barbuda also penalizes the publication or circulation of any "indecent matter" or any "advertisement regarding the cure of venereal complaints or secret diseases" with a fine of up to EC$3,000 (approximately US$1,111).184

B. Enforcement of Criminal Defamation Laws

There have been no recent criminal prosecutions for defamation in Antigua and Barbuda, and criminal defamation laws do not appear to have been significantly used against journalists in the past decade. The last notable case was in 2005, when Gene Pestaina, then-director of the Office of Public Prosecutions, filed criminal libel charges against Lennox Linton, a Dominican- born journalist and manager of Observer Radio over comments Linton made on the suitability of Gene Pestaina for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.185 These comments reportedly stemmed from questions Linton asked about the status of investigations regarding several cases the government said it would be pursuing against former government ministers. Pestaina claimed that the statement subjected him to ridicule and could injure him under the Libel and Slander Act.

Although the case was never brought to a close, in August 2007 Linton was deported from Antigua and Barbuda. In 2009, in a suit brought by Linton against the Antiguan government, the Antigua High Court ruled that Linton's deportation had been illegal and awarded him damages.186

C. Application of Criminal Defamation Laws to Internet and Mobile Communications

Criminal defamation legislation in Antigua and Barbuda does not expressly cover Internet or Mobile communications. Additionally, there are no government restrictions on the Internet, which was accessed by 84 percent of the population in 2012.187

D. Status of Criminal Defamation Laws

There have been no recent amendments to criminal defamation or "desacato" laws in Antigua and Barbuda. However, in 2013, leading government officials made a number of commitments to repeal these laws. Specifically, the Prime Minister, the Attorney General, and both in-power and opposition leaders have all expressed their support for the elimination of criminal defamation laws.188 The Attorney General recently stated that a bill to repeal the laws will be introduced in Parliament early this year.189 Despite these pledges, however, as of February 2014 defamation in Antigua and Barbuda remains a criminal offense.190

II. Bahamas

A. Criminal Laws Restricting Freedom of Expression

The Bahamian Penal Code codifies two forms of criminal defamation: negligent and intentional libel.

1. Negligent and Intentional Libel

Specifically, section 316 of the Penal Code states that a person is guilty of libel "who, by print, writing, painting, effigy or by any means otherwise than solely by gestures, spoken words, or other sounds, unlawfully publishes any defamatory matter concerning another person, either negligently or with intent to defame that other person."191 Negligent libel is penalized with imprisonment for six months, while intentional libel is penalized with imprisonment for two years.192

Pursuant to the Penal Code, a matter is defamatory if it "imputes to a person any crime or misconduct in any public office, or which is likely to injure him in his occupation, calling or office, or to expose him to general hatred, contempt or ridicule."193 Moreover, the Code clarifies that "it is not necessary for libel that a defamatory meaning should be directly or completely expressed … it suffices if such meaning and its application to the person alleged to be defamed, can be collected either from the alleged libel itself or from any extrinsic circumstances, or partly by the one and partly by the other means."194 This means that the defamatory meaning may be implied, in whole or in part, from the message or from the context surrounding the statement.

2. Defenses

Sections 319-322 elaborate upon the defenses of defamation charges, which include the defenses of absolute and conditional privilege. Where a publication is absolutely privileged no person shall under any circumstances be liable to punishment, and it is immaterial (except where expressly noted) "whether the matter be true or false, and whether it be or be not known or believed to be false, and whether it be or be not published in good faith."195 The publication of defamatory matter is absolutely privileged if, for example:196

• the matter is published by the Governor-General or by the Senate or the House of Assembly of The Bahamas in any official document or proceeding;

• the matter is published concerning a person subject to military or naval discipline for the time being, and (a) relates to his conduct as a person subject to such discipline, and (b) is published by some person having authority over him with respect to such conduct, and (c) is published to some person having authority over him with respect to such conduct;

• the matter is published by a person acting in any "judicial proceeding" within the meaning of section 423, whether as a judge or magistrate, or as Attorney General or other public prosecutor, or as a juror or a member of a commission of enquiry, or as a witness;

• the person publishing the matter is legally bound to publish it; or

• the matter is true, and it is also found by the jury that it was for the public benefit that it should be published. However, defendants bear the burden of establishing the truth of published material when facing defamation claims made by public officials.197

A publication of defamatory matter is also privileged, on condition that it was published in good faith if, for example:198

• the matter published is a copy or reproduction, or in fact a fair abstract, of any matter which has been previously published, and the previous publication of the matter was or would have been privileged under section 320;

• the matter is published by a person acting as counsel or advocate in the course of, or in preparation for, any legal proceeding;

• the matter is an expression of opinion in good faith as to the conduct of a person in a judicial, official or other public capacity, or as to his personal character so far as it appears in such conduct;

• the matter is an expression of opinion in good faith as to the conduct of a person in relation to any public question or matter, or as to his personal character so far as it appears in such conduct;

• the matter is an expression of opinion in good faith as to (a) the conduct of any person as disclosed by evidence given in a public legal proceeding, whether civil or criminal; or (b) as to the conduct of any person as a party, witness or otherwise in any such proceeding; or (c) as to the character of any person so far as it appears in any such conduct;

• the matter is an expression of opinion in good faith as to the merits of any book, writing, painting, speech or other work, performance or act (a) published, or (b) publicly done or made, or (c) submitted by a person to the judgment of the public, or (d) as to the character of the person so far as it appears therein.

B. Enforcement of Criminal Defamation Laws

The criminal defamation laws in the Bahamas appear to be used "rarely if ever."199 No recent criminal prosecutions against journalists could be found.200

C. Application of Criminal Defamation Laws to Internet and Mobile Communications

No recent application of these laws appears to extend them to Internet or Mobile communications. However, the definition of libel, which refers to "any means," would be broad enough to encompass such communications.

D. Status of Criminal Defamation Laws

While the Bahamian Penal Code has been repeatedly updated in the past few years, the criminal defamation provisions have been left untouched.201

The International Press Institute has made calls for Bahamian leaders to begin reform and elimination of criminal defamation laws from the books; however, there is no evidence of any actual progress on this front.202

III. Barbados

A. Criminal Laws Restricting Freedom of Expression

1. Libel

The Barbadian Defamation Act provides that an action for defamation "shall arise where a person publishes any matter, by means of the whole or any part of which, the publisher makes an imputation defamatory of another person, whether by innuendo or otherwise."203 According to Section 34 of the Act, "liability for criminal libel shall extend to charges contained in matter published by means of broadcasting; or in permanent form."204 Sanctions for criminal libel include a fine of up to $2,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 12 months.205 However, no prosecution for criminal libel shall be brought without the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions in respect of any matter appearing in a newspaper or periodical publication against any proprietor, publisher, editor or other person responsible for the publication of such newspaper or periodical publication or against any person who is paid to contribute matter to such newspaper or periodical publication.206

2. Defenses

The Barbadian Defamation Act contemplates the defense of "comment" and the defense of "privilege to a prosecution for criminal libel."207 The defense of comment is a defense against the prosecution of criminal defamation where the libel or slander is a fair comment on a matter of public interest.208 In an action for defamation where the statement (literally, the "words") include or consist solely of expression of opinion, "a defense of comment shall not fail only because the defendant has failed to prove the truth of every relevant assertion of fact relied on by him as a foundation for the opinion," provided that the assertions proved to be true "are relevant and afford a foundation therefore."209 Moreover, the defense of comment shall not be limited or otherwise affected by the fact that dishonorable or corrupt motives have been attributed to the plaintiff.210

The defense of privilege includes absolute and qualified privilege, which protect, for example:211

• the publication of a fair, accurate and contemporaneous report in any newspaper or broadcast program of any proceedings in public before a court (including a court established by a disciplinary law and a tribunal or inquiry recognized by law and exercising judicial functions);

• proceedings of Parliament;

• reports commissioned by either House; and

• the publication of a fair and accurate report of proceedings in Parliament. However, the defense of qualified privilege shall be defeated if the plaintiff proves that the defendant in making the allegedly libelous publication had a malicious intent.212

B. Enforcement of Criminal Defamation Laws

It does not appear that the criminal libel laws have been applied recently or that journalists have been threatened with criminal charges. Moreover, there have been no criminal prosecutions of journalists within the past five years.

C. Application of Criminal Defamation Laws to Internet and Mobile Communications

While not expressly stated in the statute, it seems that Internet and/or Mobile communications could be included within the meaning of "publication" which is broadly defined as "publication . . . in any manner and whether or not in permanent form; and ‘published' shall be construed accordingly."213

D. Status of Criminal Defamation Laws

In 2008, the Democratic Labor Party included a pledge to amend the defamation law in its electoral manifesto.214 The Democratic Labor Party won the election and established an Advisory Board on Governance, which was tasked with amending the Defamation Act to allow freedom of speech when a public figure was the focus of the speech. However, the work of the Advisory Board was not submitted to the legislature.215 It does not appear that there has been further debate on amending the law.

IV. Cuba

A. Criminal Laws Restricting Freedom of Expression

Cuba has the most restrictive laws on free speech and press freedom in the Americas. The constitution prohibits private ownership of media outlets and allows free speech and journalism only if they are "in keeping with the objectives of a socialist society."216

The Penal Code offers the Cuban authorities an array of criminal provisions to suppress dissent and punish those overtly critical of the government. In general, the Penal Code addresses three forms of criminal defamation offences: defamation (difamación), insults (injuria) and contempt of authority (desacato).

1. Defamation

Cuba's Penal Code expressly criminalizes defamation and slander under its section on crimes against honor.217 In particular, Article 318 provides that "[h]e who, before third parties, imputes to another a conduct, fact or characteristics, contrary to honor, which may damage his social reputation, belittle him in public opinion or expose him to loss of the trust required to perform his job, profession or social function," will be punished with three months to one year in prison with/or a fine.218 Separately, the Penal Code maintains a prohibition against defaming any government institutions, political organizations or "heroes or martyrs of the Republic," which is also punishable by three months to one year in prison or fine.219

Additionally, Article 319 typifies the crime of slander, providing that "[h]e who, knowingly, divulges false facts that result in the discredit of a person" will be punished with six months to two years in prison or a fine.

2. Insult

Cuba's Penal Code also criminalizes insults under its section on crimes against honor.220 Specifically, Article 321 states that "[h]e who, knowingly, in writing or verbally, through drawings, gestures or acts, offends another in his honor," will be punished with three months to one year in prison or a fine.

3. Contempt of Authority

In addition to the abovementioned provisions, Cuba's Penal Code also punishes slander, defamation, insult, injury "or any other mode of scornful or offensive expression" against high- ranking public officials with up to three years in prison.221 In particular, Article 144 punishes this conduct with three months to one year in prison and/or a fine when it is directed against a public official. However, when the conduct is directed against the President or other senior officials the punishment is of one to three years in prison and/or fine. This provision has been deemed among the most troubling for press freedom due to its vagueness and seemingly limitless application.222

4. Other Relevant Laws

Cuban laws include other far-reaching criminal provisions that have been used to restrict the exercise of freedom of expression. For example, Cuba maintains prohibitions against dissemination of "false news" with the aim to "disturb international peace" or "endanger the prestige of, or discredit, the Cuban state."223 This offense is punishable with one to four years in prison. Moreover, Article 103 of the Penal Code sets out penalties of up to 15 years of imprisonment for engaging in "enemy propaganda."224 Similarly, the 1997 Law of National Dignity provides for prison sentences of three to ten years for "anyone who, in a direct or indirect form, collaborates with the enemy 's media," which is aimed at independent news agencies that send their material abroad.225

Of particular concern are Article 91 of the Penal Code, which imposes lengthy prison sentences or death for those who act against "the independence or the territorial integrity of the state,"226 and Law 88 for the Protection of Cuba's National Independence and Economy, which imposes up to 20 years in prison for passing information to the U.S. government, or looking for classified information, "aimed at breaching the internal order, destabilizing the country and ending the Socialist State and the independence of Cuba."227

Lastly, Cuba's Penal Code offers several other criminal provisions that have been used to restrict freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly and association,228 such as charges of rebellion,229 clandestine printing,230 pre-criminal social dangerousness,231 illicit associations, reunions and demonstrations,232 resistance,233 and spying.

B. Enforcement of Criminal Defamation Laws

Cuba's legal and institutional structures are firmly under the control of the executive branch. Laws criminalizing defamation, contempt and "enemy propaganda" have been extensively used to restrict freedom of speech under the guise of protecting state security.

Over the years, hundreds of individuals have been imprisoned in Cuba for the peaceful expression of their views. Harassment, intimidation, arbitrary detention, and criminal prosecutions all continue to be used to restrict the expression and distribution of information or opinions critical of the government. Those targeted are dissidents and critics, in many cases independent journalists and political and human rights activists.

In Cuba, most criminal prosecutions threatening freedom of speech have included charges of contempt, under Article 144 of the Penal Code, or "enemy propaganda," under Article 115, or of acting against "the independence or the territorial integrity of the state," under Article 91, which is often used in conjunction with Law 88. Moreover, most of the criminal prosecutions for defamation refer to the defamation of public institutions, organizations, national heroes and martyrs, which is also often used in conjunction with other provisions to curb freedom of expression by preventing public debate and criticism of the authorities and of government policies.

A recent and prominent example of the use of criminal defamation and "desacato" laws to harass journalists in Cuba is the case against Calixto Martínez Arias. Calixto Martínez Arias, an independent Cuban journalist, was jailed by the Cuban government on September 16, 2012 for reporting on a new cholera outbreak on the island and related allegations that medicine provided by the World Health Organization to fight the outbreak was not being distributed. Martínez was accused of contempt for disrespecting former leader Fidel Castro and his brother, President Raúl Castro, in contravention of Article 144 of the Penal Code. He faced up to three years in prison. However, prominent human rights activist Elizardo Sánchez Santa Cruz, President of the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation in Havana, told CPJ that Martínez Arias was arrested for his journalistic work.

The international community criticized Martínez Arias' imprisonment and called on the Cuban authorities for his immediate release. He was finally released on April 9, 2013, having never been formally charged.

C. Application of Criminal Defamation Laws to Internet and Mobile Communications

Cuba's criminal defamation legislation does not expressly address Internet or Mobile communications. However, the 1997 Law of National Dignity provides for prison sentences of up to ten years for "anyone who, in a direct or indirect form, collaborates with the enemy 's media," which is aimed at independent news agencies that send their material abroad.235

Digital media is starting to play a more important role in Cuba, bringing news of events in Cuba to the rest of the world. There is also a small but vibrant blogging community in Cuba, though their sites are hosted overseas and are mostly unavailable to local Cubans. While bloggers have yet to be jailed for their work, they often face harassment and intimidation. For example, some well-known dissident bloggers, such as Yoani Sánchez, was for years detained and prevented from traveling abroad, although that restriction was lifted along with requirements for exit visas in 2013.

Mobile phones were banned in Cuba until March 2008, when Raul Castro lifted the ban along on mobile phones and other consumer goods, and there is no indication that criminal defamation or "desacato" laws have been used or applied to mobile communications.

D. Status of Criminal Defamation Laws

The Cuban government has been unwilling to turn away from its longstanding suppression of free speech—even as its leaders talk of economic and political change. Accordingly, there have been no known efforts to amend or repeal Cuba's criminal defamation legislation, nor has there been any debate about decriminalizing defamation. In fact, despite fewer long- term detentions of journalists in recent years, CPJ has found that the government continues to aggressively persecute critical journalists, using methods such as arbitrary arrests, short-term detentions, internal deportations, house arrest, beatings, smear campaigns, and surveillance.

V. Dominica

A. Criminal Laws Restricting Freedom of Expression

The Libel and Slander Act makes defamation a criminal offense in Dominica.236 In addition, the Seditious and Undesirable Publications Act criminalizes certain acts of libel against the State.237

1. Defamation

Under the Libel and Slander Act, any person who maliciously publishes any defamatory libel may face a fine and up to a year in prison.238 If the person who maliciously publishes defamatory libel knew the statement to be false at the time of publication, that person may face up to two years imprisonment.239

2. Seditious Libel

Under the Seditious and Undesirable Publications Act, statements which "rais[e] discontent or disaffection" among inhabitants or "promote feelings of ill-will" between different classes of the population are also criminalized if such statements are made by means of any "willful misrepresentation of facts or [if they concern] the motives or intentions of the Government."240

An act or publication is not seditious if the accused individual intends only to show that the Government "has been misled or mistaken" or to "point out, with a view toward their removal by lawful means, matters which are producing . . . feelings of hatred and ill-will between different classes or races."241

B. Enforcement of Criminal Defamation Laws

It appears that the criminal defamation laws are not applied in Dominica. Moreover, according to the International Press Institute's 2013 mission report on the Caribbean, no criminal prosecutions have been brought against journalists in Dominica in the last fifteen years.242 However, anecdotal evidence exists that journalists and media workers in Dominica feel threatened by the existence of criminal defamation laws, even though such laws have not been actively enforced.243

Moreover, civil defamation laws have allegedly been used to influence journalists. In 2007, the former Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, was criticized for an alleged relationship with a Bahamian businessman.244 The publisher of The Sun newspaper refused to publish an article on the topic after receiving a letter from a lawyer purporting to represent the Prime Minister.245 The following year, the Prime Minister filed libel suits against The Times of Dominica and its editor, Matt Peltier, after the newspaper published articles questioning the propriety of large value land acquisitions made by the Prime Minister given his comparatively small salary. These lawsuits against the Times of Dominica have "accentuated concerns about the increasing use of libel laws to deter critical journalism."246

C. Application of Criminal Defamation Laws to Internet and Mobile Communications

Neither the text of the Libel and Slander Act nor the text of the Seditious and Undesirable Publications Act distinguish between the publication of libelous statements in different types of media; therefore, as long as an Internet communication can be construed as a "libelous publication," it is likely that such communications could be considered within the type of conduct criminalized by the Act.

D. Status of Criminal Defamation Laws

No changes have been made to the criminal defamation laws in Dominica in the last ten years. However, the Media Workers Association of Dominica has recently called for the removal of criminal defamation laws in Dominica, in conjunction with similar efforts across the Caribbean organized by Association of Caribbean Media and the International Press Institute.247 Such efforts have not, as of yet, been successful.

VI. Dominican Republic

A. Criminal Laws Restricting Freedom of Expression

Defamation remains a criminal offence in the Dominican Republic. In addition, the Penal Code criminalizes both seditious libel and acts offending the President of the Republic and other public authorities.

1. Defamation and Insult

The Dominican Republic's Law No. 6132 on Expression and Diffusion of Thought and the Penal Code expressly criminalize defamation, with the former law providing that defamation "is all allegation or imputation of a fact, which attack the honor or consideration of the person or the entity to whom the fact is imputed."248 Law 6132 further notes that "the publication or radio diffusion, directly or through reproduction," of this kind of defamatory allegation or imputation is punishable, "even when made in a doubtful manner or if it alludes to a person or entity not mentioned expressly, but whose identification is possible based on the terms of the speech, shouting, radio-emissions, movies, writings or the prints, posters or edicts incriminated."249 Defamation against individuals is punishable with 15 days to six months of imprisonment and/or a fine of RD$25.00 to RD$200.00 (approximately US$0.50 to $4.50).250

However, defamation of a group of people who belong to a race or religion due to their origins, will be punished with a month to a year in prison and a fine of RD$25.00 to RD$200.00 (approximately $0.50 to $4.50) when it seeks to incite feeling of hatred in the population.251

Law 6132 also criminalizes insult and defines it as constituting "all expression of offence, denigration or invective term that does not entail the imputation of any fact."252 Insult against individuals, not preceded by provocation, is punishable with 5 days to two months of imprisonment and/or a fine of RD$6.00 to RD$50.00 (approximately US$0.13 to $1.12).253

Imprisonment will be of up to six months and the fine of up to RD$100.00 (approximately US$2.25) if the insult is committed with the purpose of inciting feeling of hatred in the population, in prejudice of groups of people that belong to a specific race or religion due to their origins.254

2. Seditious libel and Insult of Authority

Law No. 6123 also criminalizes offending the President of the Republic through any of the means listed in the Law,255 which is punishable by imprisonment of three months to a year and/or a fine of RD$100.00 to RD$1,000.00 (approximately US$2.25 to $22.50).256 The Penal Code similarly criminalizes defaming or insulting the President of the Republic, which entails not only a prison sentence and/or this fine but also the loss of certain civic and civil rights, including the right to vote and stand in elections, to exercise public office, to serve as a witness, etc.257

Defamation of courts, armed forces, national police, legislative chambers, municipalities and other state institutions is punishable with imprisonment of one month to one year and/or a fine of RD$50.00 to RD$500.00 (approximately US$1.12 to $11.25).258 It is equally punishable to defame specific public officials and individuals listed in the Law, if the defamation is made in connection with the functions or quality of the defamed persons.259 Insult of these state institutions and individuals is punishable by imprisonment of six days to three months and/or a fine of RD$6.00 to RD$60.00 (approximately US$0.13 to $1.35).260

Moreover, the defamation of members of Congress, Secretaries of State, Supreme Court judges, or heads of state of friendly nations is punishable with prison of one to six months and a fine of RD$50.00 (approximately US$1.12).261 Insult of the abovementioned is punishable by eight days to three months imprisonment and a fine of RD$20.00 to RD$100.00 (approximately US$0.45 to $2.25).262

3. Desacato

The Dominican Republic's Penal Code also criminalizes offending public authority. Specifically, Article 222 punishes offending the honor or sensitivity of administrative or judicial magistrates related to their public function with a prison term of six days to six month. If the offense is made during a court hearing, the sanction will be of six months to a year in prison. Further, if such an offense is made through gestures or threats, the prison term will be six days to three months in prison, or up to a year if the offense is made during a court hearing.263

Pursuant to Article 224, the Penal Code punishes offending lawmakers or agents of public authority through words or gestures, with relation to those officials' public function, with a fine of RD$10.00 to RD$100.00 (approximately US$0.22 to $2.20). The punishment will include imprisonment of six days to a month if the aggrieved is a commander of the public forces.264

4. Other Relevant Provisions

Under Law No. 6132, the Dominican Republic also penalizes the offense to ‘good morals' with one month to one year in prison plus a fine.265

Further, pursuant to Article 27 of the Law, the publication, diffusion or reproduction, through false news, of documents fabricated, falsified or falsely attributed to third parties, when it disturbs the public peace, will be punishable with six months to two years in prison and/or a fine of RD$100.00 to RD$1,000.00 (approximately US$2.25 to $22.50).266 This same conduct will be punishable by one to two years in prison with a fine of RD$100.00 to RD$1,000.00 (approximately US$2.25 to $22.50) when the publication, diffusion or reproduction, disrupts the discipline or morale of the armed forces or prejudices the nation's war efforts.267

5. Defenses

The Penal Code expressly states that for criminal defamation provisions to apply the defamation or insult must have been publicized.268 Additionally, the Code establishes a number of defenses to criminal defamation, including absolute and qualified privilege.269

Finally, Law 6132 includes other defenses to criminal defamation, including the truth of the defamatory matter and good faith.270

B. Enforcement of Criminal Defamation Laws

In 2012, two journalists in the Dominican Republic were sentenced to prison on defamation charges. Johnny Alberto Salazar, a journalist for Nagua radio, was sentenced to six months in prison and a steep fine for allegedly libeling a local lawyer.271 The case centered on comments Salazar made on his radio program alleging that the lawyer, Pedro Baldera Gomez of the Nagua Human Rights Commission, had defended a number of thieves in the area. However, an appeals court in the Dominican Republic threw out the criminal defamation conviction

Two other journalists, Robert Vargas and Genris García, settled out of court criminal defamation charges brought by Canadian clothing manufacturer Gildan Activewear.272 The case stemmed from articles the journalists posted on their websites claiming that an assassination attempt on another journalist had occurred while he was investigating possible environmental contamination by the company at its factory in Santo Domingo Province.273

C. Application of Criminal Defamation Laws to Internet and Mobile Communications

Criminal defamation legislation in the Dominican Republic does not expressly cover Internet or mobile communications. However, it is possible that the established means by which criminal defamation and insult may be committed could be interpreted expansively to include such forms of communication.

D. Status of Criminal Defamation Laws

Despite an initial consideration of legal amendments that would impose harsher penalties for defamation, in 2013 Dominican Republic legislators declared their intention to repeal all criminal defamation and insult laws in the Penal Code.274 Reforms to criminal defamation provisions under Law No. 6132 have also been under discussion, as part of a proposed "communications code" that would modernize and consolidate statutes related to the press.275 However, to this date, no such amendment has been enacted.

VII. Grenada

A. Criminal Laws Restricting Freedom of Expression

Until 2012, both defamation and seditious libel existed as separate crimes under Grenada's Criminal Code. The passage of the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act of 2012, however, repealed the crimes of negligent and intentional defamation, although it left in place the crime of seditious libel.276 In 2013, Grenada's legislature passed the Grenada Electronic Crimes Bill of 2013, Section 6 of which criminalizes "grossly offensive" or "menacing" information communicated through electronic means and provides for a potential one-year term of imprisonment.277 Although limited to "electronic" publication, this new offense may have the potential to operate as the functional equivalent of criminal defamation.

Even under the prior statutory regime, the Grenada Constitution, Section 10(1), protected freedom of expression broadly,278 but contained a reputation-based exception. Section 10(2) of the Grenada Constitution provides that no law shall be held inconsistent with Section 10 which "is reasonably required for the purpose of protecting the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons . . . " The scope of constitutional protection remains unchanged.

1. Defamation

As noted above, the 2012 amendment of the Grenada Criminal Code decriminalized negligent and intentional defamation by repealing Sections 252 and 253 of the Grenada Criminal Code.279 Prior to the appeal, Section 252 provided that the punishment for "negligent libel" was six months' imprisonment, while the punishment for "intentional libel" was two years' imprisonment.280 Section 253 defined libel as the unlawful publication of "any defamatory matter concerning another person."281 Matters are considered "defamatory " where they "impute … to a person any crime, or misconduct in any public office" or are "likely to injure him in his occupation, calling, or office, or to expose him to general hatred, contempt or ridicule."282

Grenada also has a statute governing civil actions for defamation and this statute includes provisions governing criminal liability. The Act criminalizes a newspaper's publication of the particulars (with exceptions) of marital proceedings and "indecent matter[s]" or "indecent medical, surgical or physiological details" arising out of judicial proceedings more generally, making such acts punishable by imprisonment for four months and a fine of $24,000.283

However, Section 17 of that Act provides that no criminal prosecution may proceed against a person responsible for the publication of a newspaper for allegedly libelous materials contained therein without the approval of the Attorney General.284

2. Seditious Libel

Section 327 of the Grenada Criminal Code criminalizes seditious libel and being a party to a seditious assembly. The punishment for such crimes is two years' imprisonment.285

3. Defenses or Privileges to Libel

The Criminal Code provides that certain types of publications, all of which involve a publication performed in some official capacity (e.g., a Senate report), are "absolutely privileged." This means that no criminal liability shall attach to such publications, whether the material contained therein is true or false.286 A matter that is true and whose publication is found by a jury to be "for the public benefit" is also absolutely privileged.287

Certain other types of specifically enumerated publications or statements may be privileged if made in good faith.288 A party fails to act in good faith where the matter published was untrue and the party did not believe it to be true or failed to take reasonable care to ascertain the matter's truth, or where the party has acted with an intent to injure the person defamed and the publication of the defamatory material was not reasonably necessary for the public interest or the protection of a private right or interest.289

B. Enforcement of Criminal Defamation Laws

While the privilege provisions of Sections 257 to 259 appear to be in effect still, as a practical matter, they likely will see little application in the future given the repeal of Section 252 (concerning negligent libel). However, Section 258 is still relevant in prosecutions under Section 327 for seditious libel, as Section 258 provides that no publication that is prohibited by a court on the grounds that such publication is seditious shall be privileged.

C. Application of Criminal Defamation Laws to Internet and Mobile Communications

The passage of the Grenada Electronic Crimes Act of 2013 has arguably created a more limited offense of criminal defamation. Section 6 of the Act provides that "[a] person shall not knowingly or without lawful excuse or justification send by means of an electronic system or an electronic device… information that is grossly offensive or has a menacing character."290

Although the Act does not on its face target newsgathering or reporting, the broad, undefined language of Section 6 could be applied to online reporting or other journalism, as well as commenting on websites or blogs. Moreover, the Act does not explicitly provide that news reporting constitutes a "lawful excuse or justification." Offenses under Section 6 are punishable by a fine of $100,000 (approximately US$37,000) and a one-year term of imprisonment.291

D. Status of Criminal Defamation Laws

Section 6 Electronic Crimes Act of 2013 provoked criticism from media and other free speech advocates when it was released in draft form. Although the government subsequently promised to reexamine Section 6 to ensure that it did not inhibit free speech, the Act was passed and implemented as originally drafted.292

VIII. Jamaica

A. Criminal Laws Restricting Freedom of Expression

Between 2011 and 2013, Jamaican law on libel and its protections for freedom of expression changed significantly. New legislation repealed both prior laws criminalizing libel and amended Jamaica's constitutional provisions concerning freedom of expression. Those constitutional provisions contained broadly worded exceptions, discussed further below, limiting the scope of the Constitution's protection of freedom of expression, however, and the reform of the criminal code left in place civil libel laws that have been used to obtain multimillion-dollar judgments against journalists.

1. Defamation

In early November 2013, legislation repealed the Libel and Slander Act and replacing it with a new set of civil standards and protections.293 One of the key purposes of the Bill's passage was to decriminalize libel.294 The Libel and Slander Act had criminalized the malicious publication of "defamatory libel" and defined a number of related crimes, such as threatening to publish libel with the intent to procure an appointment or office. The repealed Act also made such crimes punishable in some cases by up to three years' imprisonment.295

In 2011, two years prior to the repeal of criminal libel provisions, Jamaica's constitution was amended. Prior to 2011, the Jamaican constitution contained a reputation-based exception to freedom of expression:

"Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision . . . which is reasonably required . . . for the purpose of protecting the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons . . . ."296

Passage of the 2011 Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedom Act functioned to repeal Chapter III, Section 22 in its entirety and replaced it with Chapter III, Section 13, which prohibits Parliament from passing any law and any "organ of the State" from taking any action infringing the right to freedom of expression.297 Section 13 contains a limitations clause, however, that is applicable to freedom of expression. Section 13 states that guarantees of freedom of expression apply only "to the extent that those rights and freedoms do not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others."298 It also allows for laws to be passed, and governmental action taken, which infringe those rights "as may be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society."299 Section 13 also cannot be used to invalidate any law passed prior to Act 12 of 2011 which relates to "obscene publications."300

2. Defenses or Privileges to Libel

As noted above, in November 2013, the Jamaican Parliament passed legislation repealing the Libel and Slander Act, which criminalized libel. A different but similarly titled law, the Defamation Act, establishes a number of defenses and privileges applicable to civil actions for libel, slander, and defamation.301 The Defamation Act establishes that truth and fair comment (i.e., expressions of opinion), respectively, are defenses to actions for libel and slander.302

Certain types of newspaper publications are treated as privileged unless made with malicious intent.303

The Defamation Act also provides that a party who has innocently published defamatory language may make "an offer of amends," which must include an offer to publish a correction of the allegedly defamatory statements and an apology to the aggrieved party. The offer of amends serves as a defense to a lawsuit if this offer is accepted by the aggrieved party or made promptly after notice that the publication was, or might have been, defamatory.304

The Defamation Act's "offer of amends" defense parallels similar provisions from the since repealed Libel and Slander Act, which permitted defendants charged with crimes to mitigate damages and possibly also establish defenses, through making or offering an apology.305

B. Enforcement of Criminal Defamation Laws

Prior to the November 2013 passage of legislation repealing libel-related crimes, discussed supra, criminal libel laws were not often used.306 High-profile decisions from civil libel proceedings against journalists in Jamaica include the Committee of the Privy Counsel's 2003 decision in Gleaner v. Abhrahams, in which the Committee upheld the Court of Appeal of Jamaica's reduction of an award of civil damages against two Jamaican newspapers, who "accepted . . . that publication was wrongful and fell outside the permissible limits of section

22(1) [of the constitution]," from J$80.7 million to J$35 million (approximately US$670,000 to US$200,000).307 In another high-profile decision, the Privy Counsel held in 2002 that a leading Jamaican newspaper's coverage of a lawsuit, while defamatory, was entitled to the defense of qualified privilege.308

IX. St. Lucia

A. Criminal Laws Restricting Freedom of Expression

Criminal defamation and seditious libel remain on the books in St. Lucia and penalties for these offenses in the Criminal Code of St. Lucia are the harshest for similar offenses among English-speaking Caribbean nations.309 Although there have been no prosecutions for these offenses in St. Lucia in recent years, there has been some indication that the government of St. Lucia uses the very existence of these laws to pressure media outlets.310

1. Defamation

Under the St. Lucia Criminal Code, a person who either negligently or intentionally publishes defamatory matter concerning another person is guilty of libel.311 Libel committed negligently is punishable by two years in prison,312 while intentional libel carries a penalty of five years, the harshest penalty for a criminal defamation offense amongst English-speaking Caribbean nations.313

A matter is "defamatory " if it imputes to another person (1) misconduct in any public office, (2) matters which are likely to injure that person in his or her occupation, or (3) matters that would expose that person to "general hatred, contempt, or ridicule."314

Defamatory matter is considered "published" when a person causes that material to be exhibited, read, recited, described, or delivered such that the matter "becomes known or is likely to become known" to someone other than the person defamed.315 Significantly, actions limited solely to gestures, spoken words, or other sounds are not considered "published" under the statute.316

A person may be guilty of libel under the Code even where the defamed person is deceased, provided the guilty party had intent to bring contempt onto the relatives of the deceased to "provoke [the relatives] to a breach of the peace."317

The Criminal Code adds to these general libel laws several provisions specific to newspapers, books, and periodicals. The proprietor of a newspaper, for example, is presumed to be criminally responsible for defamatory material in the newspaper, unless the proprietor did not have knowledge of the defamatory material and was not negligent.318 A proprietor is negligent if it gave its editor discretion to select materials for publication, and either intended for that discretion to be used to publish defamatory matter or continued to grant the discretion after knowing it had been exercised to defame.319 Sellers of newspapers, books, or periodicals are not liable unless they had knowledge of defamatory material within or, in the case of a newspaper, knew the newspaper regularly contained defamatory matter.320 Further, a liable seller does not subject his or her employer to liability unless the employer had knowledge of the defamatory material sold or, in the case of a periodical, knew the periodical has regularly contained defamatory matter.321

2. Seditious Libel/Insult to Authority

As with nearly all Caribbean countries that have retained the British monarch as head of state, St. Lucia specifically outlaws speech that insults the state or sovereign. Section 305 of the Criminal Code makes libel or assembly with a seditious purpose punishable by five years in prison. Seditious assembly involves either the assembly of five or more persons for a seditious purpose, or assembly where seditious libel or seditious speeches are made.322 Similarly, Section 329 of the Criminal Code establishes a separate offense, punishable by five years in prison, for publishing defamatory or insulting matter concerning the Governor-General with intent to bring the Governor-General into hatred, contempt, or ridicule.323

3. Defenses or Privileges to Libel

The Criminal Code provides that if the defamatory matter is true, and the person publishing it can show "that it was for the public benefit that the matter should be published in the manner in which and at the time when it was published," then the publication is considered justified and no liability attaches.324

In addition, the Criminal Code provides for absolute and conditional privileges to criminal libel offenses, except seditious libel.325 The absolute privilege exempts from liability the publication of defamatory matter by the Governor-General, Cabinet, or Parliament, as well as the publication of reports or statements made in Cabinet or Parliament.326 The absolute privilege also covers publications by persons acting in a judicial proceeding as a Judge or Magistrate, Attorney-General, public prosecutor, juror, or witness.327 Where an absolute privilege applies, it is immaterial for purposes of the criminal defamation laws whether the matter is true or false.328

The conditional privilege protects publications made in good faith under various circumstances. These circumstances include: good faith complaints about someone's conduct made to a party with legal authority to receive complaints about such conduct; good faith statements made in a legal proceeding about the conduct of a party or witness; opinions in critical reviews of artistic or literary works; statements by counsel in a legal proceeding; and statements regarding conduct of a public official or any person in relation to a public issue, provided the statement concerns only the person's character as it appears from such conduct.329 The conditional privilege also extends to publication of a copy, reproduction, or abstract of matter protected by the absolute privilege.330

Unlike the absolute privilege, the "good faith" requirement of the conditional privilege imposes some limits related to the truth of the underlying matter. For example, good faith will not be found where the matter published was untrue and the person publishing it either did not believe it to be true, or did not take reasonable care to ascertain whether it was true or false.331

Lack of good faith will also be found where the person published the matter with intent to injure the targeted person to a greater degree than necessary "for the interest of the public or for the protection of the private right or interest in respect of which he or she claims to be privileged."332

B. Enforcement of Criminal Defamation Laws

According to a November 2013 report by the International Press Institute that included a survey of criminal defamation prosecutions dating back to at least 1999, there have been no recent prosecutions under the criminal defamation laws of St. Lucia.333

At least one St. Lucia-based journalist has claimed that although no prosecutions for defamation have occurred in the last 25 years, journalists are frequently sued for libel or threatened with criminal charges.334

C. Application of Criminal Defamation Laws to Internet and Mobile Communications

St. Lucia's criminal defamation laws are likely to apply to Internet and mobile communications. Section 315 of the Criminal Code defines "publication" for the purposes of the criminal libel provisions as the "print, writing, painting, effigy or other means by which the defamatory matter is conveyed" as long as that means makes "the defamatory meaning . . . known or . . . likely to become known to the person other than the person defamed" (emphasis added).335 Electronic communications in general appear to fit into this definition.

D. Status of Criminal Defamation Laws

St. Lucia's criminal defamation laws have remained largely unchanged in the last ten years. In 2005, however, the Criminal Code was amended to add Section 361, which made it an offense punishable by a prison term "not exceeding two years" for anyone, including journalists, to spread information "that he or she knows is false and causes or is likely to cause injury to a public interest."336 At the time, then-Prime Minister Kenny Anthony had accused "certain select persons in the media" of engaging in a disinformation campaign designed to undermine his ruling Labor Party.337 The government's lawyer, Anthony Astaphan, also stated that "[t] he media in modern times must be never taken for granted as spreading the gospel truth" and described St. Lucia's media as one of "mass deception."338 However, in November 2006, under intense criticism from journalists and press freedom activists, Anthony 's government repealed Section 361, claiming that it was too difficult to enforce.339

X. Haiti

A. Criminal Laws Restricting Freedom of Expression

Haiti's constitution340 expressly guarantees freedom of expression, freedom of the press,341 as well as a reporter's privilege again revealing sources,342 it nevertheless criminalizes certain forms of libel. Indeed, "[a]ll offenses involving the press and abuses of the right of expression come under the code of criminal law."343

1. Criminal Libel (or Slander)

Under the Haitian Penal Code,344 criminal libel (or slander) is defined as the act of attributing to someone "facts that undermine his honor and esteem."345 Truth, public knowledge, or the fact that the assertions are copied or excerpted from foreign press, cannot be raised as defenses.346 In addition, one who uses foreign press to defame will be liable to the same extent as if it were a purely domestic act.347

In general, the punishment envisioned by the Haitian Penal Code for criminal libel (or slander) ranges from six months to three years. For instance, defendants accused of imputing to an individual serious crimes (such as those punishable by death or forced labor for life), face up to three years in prison.348 In all other cases, the prison term will be from six months to one year.349

2. Slander Against Law-Enforcement or Judicial Authorities

The Haitian Penal Code contains a notable provision making it a crime to direct "slanderous accusation" against law-enforcement or judicial authorities.350 Such act can lead up to one year in prison351 and the loss of certain civil rights.352

3. Insult

Haiti's Penal Code maintains a separate offense for insult. The Penal Code provides that "insults or offensive expressions which do not contain an allegation of specific facts" may be punishable if they are of (i) a "particular vice" and (ii) "widespread and distributed."353

The punishment for "widespread" insults of a "particular vice" is imprisonment of one month to one year.354 When both elements of the definition of "insult" are not found, only pecuniary penalties are imposed.355

4. Seditious Libel or "Desacato"

The Haitian Penal Code contains specific provisions regarding insults directed against magistrates of the administrative or judicial orders. Any insult, whether oral or in writing, that tends to affect "honor or ‘delicacy '" is punished.356 Interestingly, the Penal Code distinguishes between insults made orally or in writing from insults though gestures or threats.357 In addition, insults against "high officials," whether made orally or in writing or through gestures or threats are punished more severely.358

Oral or written insults are punishable by a prison term of three months to one year.359 Insults through gestures or threats are punished by a prison term of one month to one year.360 Finally, insults against "high officials" result in a prison term of one to three years.361

B. Enforcement of Criminal Defamation Laws

The only known criminal prosecution for defamation took place in 2008.362 In December 2008, a Port-au-Prince court sentenced Guyler Delva, a wire correspondent, to one month in prison for defaming a former Haitian Senator by reporting that the senator had failed to testify about the unsolved slaying of Haitian journalist Jean-Leopold Dominique in 2000.363

In addition to the foregoing application of criminal charges to press activity, certain press freedom advocacy organizations report that suits for civil defamation are often brought against journalists. A report released on September 2012,364 alleges many "retaliatory defamation lawsuits" are filed by the government.365 The U.S. Department of State has echoed this allegation, reporting that in Haiti, "[j]ournalists complained about an increase in defamation lawsuits that the government threatened or filed against the press for statements made about public officials or private figures in the public arena."366

C. Application of Criminal Defamation Laws to Internet and Mobile Communications

According to the Penal Code, it appears that the provisions related to criminal libel (or slander), slander against law-enforcement or judicial authorities, insult, and seditious libel or "desacato" apply to the Internet and/or mobile communications because the definitions for two of these categories include "writing"367 and the two others include "in writing whether printed or not."368 "Writing" could itself mean any forms of writing. "In writing whether printed or not" is even more explicit in that it includes other forms of messages.

However, while there are no government restrictions on the Internet, as of 2011, only 8.6 percent of the population had access to the Internet in Haiti.369

D. Status of Criminal Defamation Laws

Haiti's criminal defamation laws have remained unchanged in the past ten years, and the government appears unlikely to reform these laws. On the contrary, the Minister of Justice recently reaffirmed that criminal prosecution of defamation, slander and insult would continue.370

XI. Trinidad and Tobago

A. Criminal Laws Restricting Freedom of Expression

Criminal defamation laws in Trinidad and Tobago are contained in the Libel and Defamation Act of 1845.371 Depending on whether the author of the defamatory statement has knowledge of its falsity, the sentence varies.

On the one hand, if any person maliciously publishes any defamatory libel, knowing the libelous statement to be false, he may be convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for two years, as well as fined at the discretion of the court.372 If any person maliciously publishes any defamatory libel, without knowing it to be false, he may be convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for one year, as well as fined for the offense.373 This law is a near exact replica of the British Libel Act 1843, sometimes referred to as the Lord Campbell's Act, which was repealed in England & Wales in 2009.

B. Enforcement of Criminal Defamation Laws

Although there have been numerous instances of civil suits for defamation and numerous pre-action protocol letters (letters threatening civil suit) issued against journalists, no criminal prosecutions against journalists appear to have taken place.

C. Application of Criminal Defamation Laws to Internet and Mobile Communications

Criminal defamation laws apply to Internet and/or mobile communications though challenges relating to proof of authorship may arise. Liability has been established for Internet communications in previous civil suits.

D. Status of Criminal Defamation Laws

Trinidad and Tobago has not made changes to criminal defamation or "desacato" legislation in the past ten years. However, there is currently a Libel & Defamation (Amendment) Bill 2013 which seeks to amend the Libel and Defamation Act of 1845 to abolish the criminal offence of malicious defamatory libel, by repealing its section 9. The Bill was last read but not debated in the House of Representatives on September 6, 2013.374

175 Final Report on the 2013 IPI Mission to Antigua and Barbuda: Focus on Criminal Defamation, at 9, April 14-16, 2013, ("Final Report on the 2013 IPI Mission to Antigua and Barbuda") available at http://www.freemedia.at/fileadmin/media/Documents/IPI_mission_reports/Antigua_Mission_Report_2013.pdf.

176 Id. arts. 318-320.

177 Id. art. 204.

178 The Libel and Slander Act, supra note XX, §11(1)(a).

179 Id. §11(1)(b).

180 Id. §11(2).

181 Final Report on the 2013 IPI Mission to Antigua and Barbuda.

182 The Sedition and Undesirable Publications Act, supra note XX, §4.

183 Id., supra note XX, §3.

184 Small Charges Act, art. 31.

185 Available at: http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/news/9679.html#ixzz2OdfcW8nv.

186 Id. at 10.

187 Freedom House, Freedom of the Press 2013 - Antigua and Barbuda (July 17, 2013) available at http://www.refworld.org/docid/51e7d0c514.html.

188 Id.; see also Final Report on the 2013 IPI Mission to Antigua and Barbuda, at 11-12.

189 See Martina Johnson, "Repeal of defamation laws remains on horizon - AG" Antigua Observer, Nov. 6, 2013, available at http://www.antiguaobserver.com/repeal-of-defamation-laws-remains-on-horizon-ag/.

190 See "Antiguan political leaders commit to repealing criminal defamation," International Press Institute, April 19, 2013, available at http://www.ifex.org/antigua_and_barbuda/2013/04/19/repeal_crim_defamation/.

191 Bahamian Penal Code Title XXII, §316.

192 Id. §315.

193 Id. §316.

194 Id. §318(2).

195 Id. §320(2).

196 See id. §320.

197 See http://kellywarnerlaw.com/bahamas-defamation-laws/.

198 See Bahamian Penal Code Title XXII, §321.

199 See Nunez, Paco "A Chance to Lead the Way" Tribune 242 (July 2, 2012), available at http://www.tribune242.com/news/2012/jul/02/a-chance-to-lead-the-way/?opinion; see also, http://www.freemedia.at/fileadmin/media/Documents/Caribbean_Defamation_Table.pdf.

200 There does appear to be indications of private political manipulation of the criminal justice system going on in the Bahamas with regard to personal defamation claims against hedge fund manager Louis Bacon by fashion designer Peter Nygard. While the claims appear to be technically criminal in nature for a cause of defamation, it is hard to view these proceedings as in any way connected with traditional defamation actions against journalists by the government. See "Criminal Case Against Bacon to Proceed" Nassau Observer (April 21, 2012), available at http://nassauobserver.blogspot.com/2012/04/bacon-criminal-case-to-proceed.html.

201 See Nunez, Paco "A Chance to Lead the Way " Tribune 242 (July 2, 2012), available at http://www.tribune242.com/news/2012/jul/02/a-chance-to-lead-the-way/?opinion.

202 Id.

203 Defamation Act of 1997, Ch. 199, § 3.

204 Id. § 34.

205 Id.

206 Id. § 34(4).

207 Id. § 34(2).

208 Id. § 8(1).

209 Id. § 8(2).

210 Id. § 8(3).

211 Id. §§ 9-11.

212 Id. §§ 12-13.

213 Id. § 2.

214 Manifesto of the Democratic Labour Party, p. 48 (2008).

215 International Press Institute, "Final Report on the IPI Advocacy Mission to End Criminal Defamation in Barbados," (June 2012).

216 Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, 1976 (as amended through 2002), art. 53.

217 Law Nº 62 - Penal Code (1987) [hereinafter "Penal Code"], Articles 318-320. Available in Spanish at http://www.gacetaoficial.cu/html/codigo_penal.html.

218 Id. arts. 318-320.

219 Id. art. 204.

220 Id. art. 321.

221 Id. art. 204.

222 Scott Griffen, IPI Special Report: Criminal defamation laws remain widespread in the Caribbean, International Press Institute, February 4, 2013. Available at http://www.freemedia.at/home/singleview/article/ipi-special-report-criminal-defamation-laws-remain-widespread-in-the-caribbean.html.

223 Penal Code, supra note XX, art.115.

224 Id. art. 115.

225 See Freedom House, Freedom of the Press 2013, Cuba. Available at http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2013/cuba.

226 Penal Code, supra note XX, art. 91.

227 Law 88 for the Protection of National Independence and Economy in Cuba, 16 February 1999, arts. 4.1 and 5.1.

228 See Amnesty International, Restrictions on Freedom of Expression in Cuba (2010). Available at http://www.amnistia-internacional.pt/dmdocuments/Cuba_FreedomExpression.pdf.

229 Penal Code, supra note XX, arts. 98-99.

230 Id. art. 210.

231 Id. arts. 72-90.

232 Id. arts. 207-209.

233 Id. art. 143.

234 Id. art. 97.

235 See Freedom House, Freedom of the Press 2013, Cuba. Available at http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2013/cuba.

236 Libel and Slander Act, Laws of Dominica, Chapter 7:04 §§ 4-5 (last amended August 9, 1979).

237 Seditious and Undesirable Publications Act, Laws of Dominica, Chapter 10:03 §§ 3-12 (1968).

238 Libel and Slander Act, Laws of Dominica, Chapter 7:04 § 4.

239 Id. § 5.

240 Seditious and Undesirable Publications Act, Laws of Dominica, Chapter 10:03 § 3(1).

241 Id. § 3(2).

242 See IPI Special Report: Criminal Defamation Laws Remain Widespread in the Caribbean, International Press Institute (Feb. 4, 2013), available at http://www.freemedia.at/home/singleview/article/ipi-special-report-criminal-defamation-laws-remain-widespread-in-the-caribbean.html.

243 See, e.g., Media workers under threat says PRO of Media Workers Association in Dominica, Dominica Vibes News, October 13, 2011, available at http://dominicavibes.dm/media-workers-under-threat-says-pro-of-media-workers-association-in-dominica/ (last accessed November 21, 2013).

244 See Freedom of the Press 2007, Dominica, Freedom House (examining freedom of the press in Dominica and noting on the dispute involving the Prime Minister), available at http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2007/dominica.

245 Id.

246 Freedom of the Press 2008, Dominica, Freedom House, available at http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2008/dominica.

247 See ACM calls for removal of criminal defamation laws, Dominica News Online (Oct. 13, 2011), available at http://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/news/media-telecommunications/acm-calls-for-removal-of-criminal-defamation-laws/.

248 Law No. 6123, G. O. No. 8721, del 19 Dic. de 1962, art. 29. See also, Penal Code, art. 367.

249 Law No. 6123, art. 29.

250 Id. art. 33. But, see Penal Code, art. 371 for different sanctions.

251 Id.

252 Law No. 6123, art. 29.

253 Id. Article 35. But, see Penal Code, art. 372 for different sanctions.

254 Law 6132, art. 35.

255 See Law 6132, art. 23.

256 Id. art. 26.

257 Penal Code, art. 368.

258 Law 6132, art. 30.

259 Id. art. 31.

260 Id. art. 34.

261 Penal Code, art. 369.

262 Id. art. 372.

263 Id. art. 223.

264 Id. art. 225.

265 Law No. 6132, art. 28.

266 Id. art. 27.

267 Id.

268 Penal Code, art. 373.

269 See Penal Code, arts. 374-377.

270 Law 6132, arts. 37-38.

271 http://www.freemedia.at/regions/americas-caribbean/singleview/article/dominican-republic-court-tosses-defamation-verdict.html.

272 Freedom House, Freedom of the Press 2013 - Dominican Republic. Available at http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2013/dominican-republic#.U0Pu7EKSyrY.

273 Id.

274 See "Dominican Republic government signals intent to abolish criminal defamation," International Press Institute, April 29, 2013, available at http://ipi.freemedia.at/special-pages/newssview/article/dominican-republic-government-signals-intent-to-abolish-criminal-defamation.html.

275 Id.

276 Grenada Criminal Code § 257.

277 No official copy of the bill can be located online. A non-official version is available at http://grenadabroadcast.net/pastshows2/hor1.

278 "Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expres sion, including freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive ideas and information without interference, freedom to communicate ideas and information without interference (whether the communication be to the public generally or to any person or class of persons) and freedom from inter ference with his correspondence."

279 Grenada Criminal Code (Amendment) Act of 2012. No copy available online; reported at http://www.freemedia.at/home/singleview/article/grenada-abolishes-criminal-libel.html.

280 Grenada Criminal Code § 252.

281 Id. § 253.

282 Id. § 254.

283 See Libel and Slander Act § 15.

284 See id. §§ 17, 23.

285 Grenada Criminal Code § 327.

286 Id. § 257(1).

287 Id. § 257(1)(h).

288 See Id. § 258.

289 Id. § 259.

290 Electronic Crimes Bill § 6(1).

291 Id.

292 http://www.ict-pulse.com/2013/07/grenada-flack-electronic-crimes-act/; http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/news/grenada_news/1106286.html#axzz2uN7mNzDw; http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1079967.

293 See A Bill Entitled An Act to Repeal the Defamation Act and the Libel and Slander Act ("Repeal Bill") at § 37. Note: citations are made to a version of the Bill obtained on 10/28/2013; Parliament may have passed the Bill with some changes; see also David McFadden, Press Groups Applaud Overhaul of Ja maica Libel Law, ABC News, Nov. 7, 2013.

294 See Repeal Bill, Statement by the Hon. Minister of Justice ("Some of the features of the Bill include provisions relating to . . . the abolition of the law relating to criminal libel").

295 See Libel and Slander Act §§ 4-6, Part II.

296 Jamaican Constitution Chapter III, § 22.

297 See id. § 13(2)-(3).

298 See id. § 13(1).

299 See id. § 13(2).

300 See id. § 13(12).

301 See Defamation Act § 15.

302 See id. §§ 7, 8.

303 See id. § 9.

304 See id. § 6.

305 See Libel and Slander Act §§ 2, 3.

306 See Freedom House, Freedom of the Press Report 2013, Jamaica, available at http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2013/Jamaica (noting that "the criminal defamation laws have not been enforced in recent years").

307 Gleaner v. Abhrahams, [2003] U.K.P.C. 55, at ¶¶ 1-4, 38, 72 (14 July 2003).

308 See Bonnick v. Morris, [2002] U.K.P.C. 311.

309 International Press Institute, IPI Special Report: Criminal defamation laws remain widespread in the Caribbean, International Press Institute, Feb. 13, 2013, http://www.freemedia.at/home/singleview/article/ipi-special-report-criminal-defamation-laws-remain-widespread-in-the-caribbean.html.

310 See, Caribbean News Now contributor, "Two More St. Lucia Officials Threaten Local Media," Caribbean New Nows, Oct. 14, 2013, available at http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/topstory-Two-more-St-Lucia-officials-threaten-local-media-18120.html.

311 Criminal Code of St. Lucia § 313.

312 Id. § 328.

313 Id. § 327; International Press Institute, IPI Special Report: Criminal defamation laws remain wide spread in the Caribbean, International Press Institute, Feb. 13, 2013, http://www.freemedia.at/home/singleview/article/ipi-special-report-criminal-defamation-laws-remain-widespread-in-the-caribbean.html.

314 Criminal Code of St. Lucia § 314.

315 Id. § 315.

316 Id. § 313.

317 Id. § 313.

318 Id. § 321.

319 Id. § 322.

320 Id. §§ 323-324.

321 Id. § 325.

322 Id. §§ 304-305.

323 Id. § 329.

324 Id. § 326.

325 Id. § 305.

326 Id. § 317(1)(a)-(d).

327 Id. § 317(1)(e).

328 Id. § 317(2).

329 Id. § 318.

330 Id. § 318(a).

331 Id. § 319(a)-(b).

332 Id. § 319(c).

333 International Press Institute, Overview of Criminal Defamation Laws in the Caribbean, International Press Institute, Nov. 2013, http://www.freemedia.at/fileadmin/media/Documents/IPI_mission_reports/Criminal_Defamation_Law_in_the_Caribbean.pdf.

334 Micah George, Time to Remove Criminal Libel Laws, The Voice, Feb. 7, 2013, http://www.thevoiceslu.com/let_and_op/2013/february/07_02_13/Time.html.

335 Criminal Code of St. Lucia § 315.

336 International Press Institute, St. Lucia, International Press Institute, Apr. 25, 2000, http://www.freemedia.at/archives/singleview/article/st-lucia.html.

337 International Press Institute, Saint Lucia, International Press Institute, Apr. 26, 2006, http://www.freemedia.at/archives/singleview/article/saint-lucia.html.

338 International Press Institute, St. Lucia, International Press Institute, Apr. 26, 2006, http://www.freemedia.at/archives/singleview/article/st-lucia-2.html.

339 International Press Institute, St. Lucia, International Press Institute, Apr. 25, 2007, http://www.freemedia.at/archives/singleview/article/st-lucia.html.

340 Haiti Constitution of 1987, available at http://pdba.georgetown.edu/constitutions/haiti/haiti1987.html.

341 Id. art. 28-1 ("Journalists shall freely exercise their profession within the framework of the law. Such exercise may not be subject to any authorization or censorship, except in the case of war.").

342 Id. art. 28-2 ("Journalists may not be compelled to reveal their sources. However, it is their duty to verify the authenticity and accuracy of information. It is also this obligation to respect the ethics of their profession.").

343 Id. art. 23-3.

344 Haitian Penal Code of 1985, available at http://www.oas.org/juridico/mla/fr/hti/fr_hti_penal.html.

345 Id. art. 313.

346 Id. art. 314.

347 Id. art. 315.

348 Id. art. 316.

349 Id.

350 Id. art. 318.

351 Id.

352 Id. art. 319.

353 Id. art. 320.

354 Id.

355 Id. art. 321.

356 Id. art. 183. The term "delicacy " is a literal translation of French delicatesse.

357 Id. art. 184.

358 Id. art. 187.

359 Id. art. 183.

360 Id. art. 184.

361 Id. art. 187.

362 See generally, Report from the International Press Institute on Criminal Defamation Laws in the Caribbean, available at http://www.freemedia.at/fileadmin/media/Documents/Caribbean_Defamation_Table.pdf.

363 See Press Release of December 12, 2008, "Journalist sentenced to Prison for Defamation," Committee to Protect Journalists, available at http://cpj.org/2008/12/journalist-sentenced-to-prison-for-defamation-1.php.

364 Freedom of the Press in Haiti: The Chilling Effect on Journalists Critical of the Government, University of San Francisco and Institute of Justice & Democracy in Haiti Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (September 27, 2012), available at http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CDYQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2F
www.usfca.edu%2Flaw%2Fdocs%2Fhaitipress%2F&ei=QZyRUtWUCPOrsQSztoHwBw&usg=
AFQjCNFh_UyUufUJry2GsQeAF2n0WRdEqQ&sig2=YZUg0v3gMcuLroicO5uiiQ
.

365 Id. at 7-8.

366 2012 Human Rights Report: Haiti, U.S. Department of State, available at http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/wha/204458.html.

367 See provisions related to slander against law-enforcement or judicial authorities, see Haitian Penal Code of 1985 art. 318, and seditious libel or "desacato," id. art. 183.

368 See provisions related to criminal libel or slander, see Haitian Penal Code of 1985 art. 313, and insult, id. art. 320.

369 See Freedom House Report for Haiti in 2012, available at http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2012/haiti.

370 See Haiti-Justice: Rappel du Ministre de la justice sur la diffamation, posted on February 11, 2013, available at http://www.haitilibre.com/article-7856-haiti-justice-rappel-du-ministre-de-la-justice-sur-la-diffamation.html.

371 See Libel & Defamation Act of 1845, available at http://rgd.legalaffairs.gov.tt/laws2/alphabetical_list/lawspdfs/11.16.pdf.

372 Id. § 8.

373 Id. § 9.

374 4th Session 10th Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago, Hansard Friday, September 6, 2013 - Libel & Defamation (Amendment) Act 2013, available at http://www.ttparliament.org/publications.php?mid=28&id=670.

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