Friday, January 27, 2017

Abolishing lese majeste in Germany

Lese majeste - the "crime" of insulting rulers - is a holdover from feudalism and antithetical to democracy. Germany has finally recognised that and is planning to abolish its lese majeste law:

Germany has decided to abolish a law which defends the honour of foreign leaders.

International heads of state will no longer be able to ask the German government to prosecute people deemed to have offended them under an obscure passage of German law.

The decision comes just days after Donald Trump's inauguration as US President and a year after Angela Merkel authorised the investigation of a TV comic who wrote a crude poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

It also comes five years after the European Court of Human Rights effectively gutted lese majeste laws in Otegi Mondragon v. Spain. Which really makes you ask "what took them so long"?