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law in Europe

 
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Hello everyone,

I heard from someone actually I don't trust, currently he living in Germany and he told me about these laws in Europe :

- Someone can be jailed if saying stupid to somebody else in Europe.

- If someone put their parent into nursing home, and don't visit his/her parent for more than 3 months also could be jailed.

From these statement on above, Are those true?

Please answer

Thanks
 
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I don't think so. If the statement is libelous, there could be legal consequences, but hardly jail.
 
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The first might be regarded as a “hate crime” in the UK.
 
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Yes, in most of mainland Europe you can theoretically be jailed for insulting a person. Jail time usually doesn't happen though, although there have been some recent cases of people being fined for using racial slurs against people of color.

Defamation is another matter. If you make an assertion about a person that discredits them in public opinion and the assertion is false, then you may be sued for defamation and this is a common occurrence.

Incitation of the masses is yet another matter. When you incite a group of people to disturb the public peace, there's a chance of jail time.

Then in some monarchies there's "Lèse-majesté", meaning you can't insult the monarchy. There have been a few cases of people getting jail time for this. In some republics the same thing applies to the president or prime minister. For instance, in Germany you can get jail time for insulting the Chancellor of Germany.
 
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If people were routinely jailed for saying stupid things, most of the world would be in prison. I would expect that in general it would also be safe to say something insulting to a person. Assuming that being "safe" includes, say, being punched in the nose.

Saying something insulting (and untrue) about a person - that is, to other persons - on the other hand, could get you into trouble. One of the most notable differences between English and American law is that things you can freely say about people in the USA would result in legal action in the UK. President Trump even lobbied about making libel law in the USA more English-like. For some reason he seemed to think that people were saying bad things about him.

Then again, in the USA, if you cannot sue someone for libel, you shoot them for "disrespecting" you.  Of, if you're having a bad day, go on a spree and shoot as many semi-randomly selected people as you can.
 
Tim Holloway
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Of course, actual examples are the best: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/23/polish-writer-jakub-zulczyk-charged-for-calling-president-andrzej-duda-a-moron
 
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As you refer to germany in specific, as a german I can asure you: at least in germany you cannot get jailed for those examples.

- even when considering "insultig someone as stupid" as "hate speech" - at least in germany you only can get fined for it - but getting jailed? NOPE

- not visiting your old parents? I can name you at least one nursing home right down my street at least one of their "inmates" never got any visit from any relative for years - and for this you can't even get jailed
in germany you can officially and legally just say "nope, I 'refuse' to be responsible for my parents any longer" - and that's it - then they'Re on their own

As for my fellow europeans I don't think you can get jailed for either of them - fined? sure, but jailed? only in a more remote way: if you get fined and refuse to pay the fine THEN you can get jailed - but for not paying the fine instead of what you actually got fined for.

Fun Fact about german laws: For murder 1st degree you get about 25 years - for stealing taxes about 40 years. So, if there's a crime worse than 1st degree multi murder - it's not paying your taxes. So much for how much a live is worth in germany ...
 
Stephan van Hulst
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Matthew Bendford wrote:As you refer to germany in specific, as a german I can asure you: at least in germany you cannot get jailed for those examples.

- even when considering "insultig someone as stupid" as "hate speech" - at least in germany you only can get fined for it - but getting jailed? NOPE


Look at StGB § 185. Theoretically you can get jailed for calling somebody something really bad. In practice it just doesn't really happen.

As for my fellow europeans I don't think you can get jailed for either of them - fined? sure, but jailed?


In most of the European Union it's the same as in Germany. You absolutely CAN get jail time for insult. It just doesn't happen in practice, unless you do something like insult king Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands or something similar.
 
Matthew Bendford
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Although I'm not a lawyer - so the following has to be taken with care - the issue I see with "suggestions" as 185: They lack proper definition. I'm not aware of any and can't think of any explicit definitions defining specific words as an insult - at least not in written down law texts. A judge may refer to a dictionary if it lists a word in question as an insult - but even such "human personal opinions" can be challenged.
Most "famous" is what many refer to as "Beamtenbeleidigung" - or as a literal word-by-word translation: "to insult some official". There's no such thing. So, if some official tries to threaten you with this you mostly can be sure that this official is "from the old times" and not up-to-date anymore. Unless you physical attack some official (that's what 185 calls "tätlicher Angriff") there's no proper baseline this could lead to any charges. I know for sure from own personal experience. But, as you said: Although it may be possible by law it just doesn't happen, at least not anymore these days.
 
Tim Holloway
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One thing that recent events in the USA has demonstrated is that there are laws, and then there are laws which are enforced. And also in cases where definitions are imprecise or missing, the English tradition at least has been "what reasonable people would believe".

A standard that has commonly been used to determine such things as whether certain artworks are pornographic or not, but lately is popular when "news" services and certain others want to deny culpability for telling lies. It's sort of the modern-day Chewbacca defence.
 
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libel is printed and must be inflammatory and detrimental and not true.  spoken is slander... much more difficult to prosecute in the USA.

Tim Holloway wrote:If people were routinely jailed for saying stupid things, most of the world would be in prison. I would expect that in general it would also be safe to say something insulting to a person. Assuming that being "safe" includes, say, being punched in the nose.

Saying something insulting (and untrue) about a person - that is, to other persons - on the other hand, could get you into trouble. One of the most notable differences between English and American law is that things you can freely say about people in the USA would result in legal action in the UK. President Trump even lobbied about making libel law in the USA more English-like. For some reason he seemed to think that people were saying bad things about him.

Then again, in the USA, if you cannot sue someone for libel, you shoot them for "disrespecting" you.  Of, if you're having a bad day, go on a spree and shoot as many semi-randomly selected people as you can.

 
Campbell Ritchie
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I didn't think you could prosecute anybody for libel and slander. You can only sue for compensation.
 
gong tji
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Hello all,

Thank you for replied my question, I will show you all answer to him, as a proof.

Thank you.
 
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