Speech of the Minister of Justice, Blerim Bexheti, on the Draft laws amending the Election Code, the Law on Financing of Political Parties, the Law on Civil Liability for Insult and Defamation and the Law Amending the Criminal Code.
Ministry of Justice within the established activities for implementation of priority objectives for 2012, on the path of the Republic of Macedonia to the European Union, adopted at the Pre-Accession Dialogue, as an institution responsible for electoral legislation, and it started the preparation of the Draft Law on Amending the Election Code and the Law on Financing of Political Parties, the Law on Civil Liability for Insult and Defamation and the Law Amending the Criminal Code.
Regarding legal frameworks, although prescribing the basic civil and political rights and freedoms, necessary for conducting of democratic elections, their further improvement was imposed in order to comply with OSCE commitments and other international standards.
Despite the fact that international standards are implemented in the Election Code , taking into consideration that the electoral process is a dynamic one, amending of this legislation has emerged as an inevitable process in accordance with the recommendations for improving the legal solutions provided in the Final Report of the Monitoring Mission of the OSCE / ODIHR from the parliamentary elections in 2011.
1. With the Draft Law on Amending of the Election Code some of the recommendations contained in the Final Report are going to be solved, with particular emphasis on priority recommendations such as: separation of the state from political parties, election campaign financing; media and election observation; publication of election results; procedures for complaints and appeals as well as upgrading of the ambiguities in the Election Code.
2. Proposed legal solutions on amending the Law on Financing of Political Parties are directed towards the implementation of the recommendations made in the Final Report of the Council of Europe (GRECO) in the section - "Transparency of Financing of Political Parties."
Thus, there is no doubt that reform of electoral legislation should be continued in order to improve the legislation in accordance with the comparative analysis of European legislation, but also to provide appropriate activities for consistent enforcement of laws related to elections.
3. On the Government session held on September 14, 2012, the Law on Civil Liability for Insult and Defamation and the Law Amending the Criminal Code were adopted . The basic aim of these laws is to guarantee freedom of expression and information as one of essential foundations of a democratic society. With their adoption, insult and defamation will be fully decriminalized .
With changes and additions of the Criminal Code, decriminalization is made for insult and defamation, which further deletes all crimes from the chapter concerning the honor and reputation. I would like to point out that besides the criminal acts of "insult" and "defamation", other criminal acts shall be deleted from this chapter: revealing of personal and family information and circumstances; humiliation by transferring a criminal offense; offending the reputation of the Republic of Macedonia; statements of offending of the Macedonian people and community members; offending the reputation of the court; offending of reputation of international organizations.
The area of civil liability for insult and defamation is regulated by the new Law on Civil Liability for Insult and Defamation. However, particularly important are the principles on which the law is based and which give primacy to the European Convention on Human Rights over domestic law.
I would like to point out that the legal provisions are in full correlation with the practice and the arguments of the European Court of Human Rights concerning Article 10, from the European Convention for Human Rights.