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원유민, How Dare You! A Comparative Analysis of Constitutional Court Decisions Regarding Insult Laws in Mexico and South Korea (2020)

아태법
2021-02-15
조회수 292

원유민, "How Dare You! A Comparative Analysis of Constitutional Court Decisions Regarding Insult Laws in Mexico and South Korea", Mexican Law Review, Vol. 13, No. 1 (2020), pp. 101-141.

<Abstract>

Expressions that criticize the head of state, governmental institutions, or public officials are frequently sanctioned by criminal punishment for their use of derogatory and disrespectful language, referred to in the law as “insults”. This article analyzes four judicial review decisions from the Supreme Court of Mexico and the Constitutional Court of Korea regarding insult laws from the perspective of both international human rights law and constitutional law. I argue that criminally punishing insulting expressions directed against public officials, symbols, or entities, violates the principle of freedom of expression. First, the “dignity of the nation” is not a legitimate interest warranting the restriction of insulting expressions directed at national flags or the Republic. Second, public officials should be required to tolerate a greater degree of insult than private individuals. Protection of a public function, or the honor of a public official, does not justify criminal punishment of insulting expressions. Third, the term “insult” itself is too vague, thus, its use breaches the principle of legality clarity. It also substantively restricts freedom of expression by prohibiting a wide range of utterances and activities. Based on this analysis, I argue that criminal punishment for expressions directed against national flags, public officials, and the nation, should be removed from the criminal codes. Neither the courts nor governmental authorities should criminally punish insulting expressions directed against public officials. Eliminating insult laws would not harm, but rather strengthen, democratic society in both Mexico and South Korea.

<Resuman>

 Las expresiones que critican al jefe de Estado, instituciones gubernamentales o funcionarios públicos suelen estar restringidas por normas penales que castigan los insultos y ultrajes en contra de quienes representan al Estado. Este artículo analiza cuatro sentencias judiciales de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (México) y la Corte Constitucional de Corea sobre las denominadas leyes contra insultos (“insult laws”) tanto desde la perspectiva del derecho internacional de los derechos humanos como del derecho constitucional. Sostengo que castigar penalmente los insultos contra funcionarios, símbolos o entidades públicos viola la libertad de expresión. Primero, la dignidad de la nación no es un interés legítimo para restringir las expresiones ofensivas contra las banderas nacionales o la República. Segundo, los funcionarios públicos deben tener mayor tolerancia a la crítica que los particulares. La protección de la función pública o el honor de un funcionario público no justifica el castigo penal de las expresiones verbales de insulto. Tercero, el término “insulto (ultraje)” es demasiado vago y por lo tanto viola el principio de legalidad (claridad). También viola sustancialmente la libertad de expresión al restringir una amplia gama de expresiones. Con base en este análisis, defiendo que los tipos penales que castigan las expresiones contra símbolos patrios, funcionarios públicos y la nación deben eliminarse de los códigos penales, y los funcionarios encargados de aplicarlos deben dejar de imponer castigos con base en ellos. Eliminar las leyes contra insultos fortalecería el debate democrático tanto en México como en Corea del Sur 

<Keywords>

 Insult law, Supreme Court of Mexico, Constitutional Court of Korea, international human rights law

<Palabras clave>

Insulto, Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (México), Corte Constitucional de Corea, derecho internacional de derechos humanos.

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