Facts
Decision
Comment


On 13 June 2022, the National Chamber of Civil Appeals issued a judgment in C, A v E, A P regarding a claim for damages.(1) This judgment confirmed the first instance decision, in which the judge had rejected the claimant's arguments.

Facts

The claimant sued E, A P, stating that on 11 May 2020, the defendant had insulted her for publishing a video on her own social networks during an episode of the TV show Basta Baby. As a result of this video, she had also received offensive messages that negatively affected her.

She concluded that these circumstances affected her not only as a woman but also her work performance and her public and political activities.

The claimant based her petitions on Law 26.485, which gives comprehensive protection to prevent, sanction and eradicate violence against women. She specifically requested the precautionary measures of section 26, subsection a(7).

Decision

The National Chamber of Civil Appeals considered that, while the defendant did speak contemptuously about the claimant, he did not attack her or discriminate her based on sex or gender.

The Chamber expressed that there should be a balance between the right to privacy and freedom of speech – namely, that:

it should be made clear – as the Supreme Court of Justice affirmed – that the exercise of the right to express ideas or opinions cannot be extended in detriment of other constitutional rights, among which are the moral integrity and honor of the individuals (Sections 14 and 33 of the National Constitution).

However, the judgment made it clear that there was no place for censorship in this case, since the claimant was an adult, and there was no evidence of vulnerability. On the contrary, she introduced herself during proceedings as an "influencer", which meant she was aware of her exposure and was used to public opinion. She stated that she had willingly taken the video and intended to have a productive exchange with her audience.

In addition, the claimant stated that she had suffered threats as a consequence of the release of her own video and not due to the airing of the TV show.

Based on the above, the Chamber rejected her claim and dismissed the precautionary measures of section 26, which the claimant had requested, since allowing these would have been a limitation to the right to freedom of speech.

Comment

This judgment clarified that censorship should not erode freedom of speech and that the right to privacy must be measured in accordance with the circumstances of each case.

For further information on this topic please contact Abril Neiman at Ojam Bullrich Flanzbaum by telephone (+54 11 4549-4900) or email ([email protected]). The Ojam Bullrich Flanzbaum website can be accessed at www.ojambf.com.

Endnotes

(1) File No. 13119/2021/CA3.