Satirical insult of head of state should not be a criminal offence, rules Strasbourg | UK Human Rights Blog: "The applicant recalled that the offence of insulting a foreign head of state under section 36 of the 1881 Act had been repealed following the delivery of the Strasbourg Court’s own judgment in Colombani et al. France, No. 51279/99, ECHR 2002-V). In that judgment, the Court observed "…that, contrary to the common law of defamation, this offence does not allow applicants to assert the defence of justification, that is to say prove the veracity of their claims to be exempted from criminal liability. The absence of this defence means that this is an excessive measure to protect the reputation and rights of a person, even when it comes to a head of state or government."
In line with this reasoning, the applicant invited the Court to conclude that the offense of insulting the President of the Republic was contrary to the Convention for the same reason: it was impossible to rely on the exceptio veritatis." 'via Blog this'