Main | Thursday, July 01, 2010

France Outlaws Insults

The French parliament has approved a law that calls insults "psychological violence" and makes it a crime to repeatedly insult someone. The law is primarily meant to protect victims of domestic violence.
"We have introduced an important measure here, which recognises psychological violence, because it isn't just blows (that hurt) but also words," Nadine Morano, the minister for family affairs, told the lower house of parliament. Those found guilty of breaking the new law will face up to three years in jail and a 75,000 euro (£60,840) fine. "The judge could (also) take into consideration letters, SMSs or repetitive messages, because one knows that psychological violence is made up of insults," Ms Morano said. Some critics of the new bill say the crime will be very difficult to prove. They also criticise the government for getting involved in private matters like arguments and fights between married or cohabiting couples.
Convictions are expected to be difficult to obtain without physical evidence.

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