Four provisions regarding extremism ruled unconstitutional

The Constitutional Court accepted the complaint submitted by opposition MPs.

Constitutional Court in KošiceConstitutional Court in Košice (Source: Sme )

Four provisions regarding extremism in the Criminal Code are unconstitutional, the Constitutional Court has ruled.

The provisions concern a vague definition of hate crime "against another group of people" and the extension of crimes of defamation and incitement of hatred for expressing political conviction, the TASR newswire reported.

The amendments to the Criminal Code became effective on January 1, 2017. However, a group of 30 opposition MPs submitted a motion to the court, questioning their constitutionality.

Freedom of speech cannot be restricted

The Constitutional Court, for example, accepted the complaint that the definition of "another group of people" is unclear and not defined in detail.

"Freedom of speech cannot be restricted so indefinitely, and a crime cannot be formulated so vaguely," said Constitutional Court President Ivetta Macejková, as quoted by TASR.

Lawyer Daniel Lipšic, who represented MPs in court, has welcomed the decision, saying that no one knew what sort of speech they should avoid, TASR wrote.

Other complaints accepted too

In addition, the court dealt with the question of whether the crimes of defamation and encouraging people to commit a hate crime should also refer to a group of people sharing the same political conviction, as reported by TASR.

MPs claimed it goes against the freedom of speech, too.

"The combination of the nature of the criterion of political conviction with the questions of the concept of an act causes a constitutional incompatibility of the provision called into question," said Macejková, as quoted by TASR.

Lipšic believes a political debate becoming a subject of criminal proceedings is absurd.

"The foundation of democracy is a discussion, sometimes even polemical and beyond decency, but society must regulate this, not criminal law," Lipšic added, as quoted by TASR.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

When we knelt in honour of Floyd, something inside me broke

Tyrone Chambers, an American opera singer based in Germany, shares what it feels like to be an American living in Europe, watching the BLM movement from across the ocean.

Black Lives Matter protest in Germany

Vietnamese cuisine in Martin, Vienna tram on a stamp

Check out our tips for trips and some good weekend reads.

The third reconstruction stage of Bratislava Castle leads to a rare archaeological discovery on Aug 6, 2020.

Coronavirus in Slovakia: July saw 12 outbreaks in the country

Statistics from the public health offices show young people were the biggest group among the infected.

Illustrative stock photo

All eyes are on Matovič. He is facing a major task

Slovakia needs to make big decisions. Can it become the European tiger again?

PM Igor Matovič in Brussels.