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False Defamation as a Criminal Offense


Law Proving Criminal Penalties for False Defamation Attacks


This report is provided as a Public Service, to help protect all humanitarian and professional services organizations against false Defamation as sabotage, and protect the People from fraud depriving them of the benefits of such services.




Legal Notice of Criminal Offense


Most people who only know civil law, such as for commercial business activities, typically believe that false defamation attacks cannot be prosecuted as a criminal offense.  However, that misperception is seriously mistaken, and can cause serious consequences and criminal penalties if not corrected.


False defamation against any organization or individuals to damage a professional reputation, or any defamation against an intergovernmental organization (IGO) and its Officials or agents, can be prosecuted as a criminal offense.


This summary report puts all interested parties on legal notice, specifically quoting and citing the international laws and supporting national laws, proving that false defamation is a punishable criminal offense.




A Common Law and International Crime


In the Common Law of England, as the basis for law of 56 British Commonwealth countries plus the United States, “criminal libel” (written defamation) is actually a criminal “offense [against] the public”, because of “the tendency of the defamation to produce a breach of the peace” [1].


Since ancient times, false defamation has been a serious crime, subject to severe punishment.  In early medieval Anglo-Saxon England (ca. 500-1066 AD), the origins of Common Law as customary international law, the crime of “slander” (verbal defamation) was punished by cutting out the tongue [2].


Considering that the 1969 Convention on the Law of Treaties and multiple other conventions declare that “the rules of customary [historical] international law continue to govern” (Preamble: ¶8) as binding upon all modern countries (Article 38, Articles 3(b), 43), theoretically that draconian punishment could still be lawfully applied.


In any case, that long-standing precedent proves that false defamation is in fact a criminal offense, which continues to be an international crime under international law.


This legal fact is confirmed by the 1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which recognizes as a basic human right, that “No one shall be subjected to… unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation”, and “Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks” (Article 17).


The 2005 Principles on Right to a Remedy for Human Rights mandates that for “violations of international human rights law… States have the duty to… submit to prosecution… [and] to punish” for international crimes (Article 4).


The 1990 Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors mandates that “Prosecutors shall… perform their duties… [to] uphold human rights” through the “criminal justice system”, as an obligation to prosecute human rights violations (Article 12).


Therefore, false defamation is an international crime against fundamental human rights, which is subject to criminal prosecution and imprisonment.


Further confirming that false defamation is an international crime, a UNESCO report documented that more than 66% (two-thirds) of countries also have national laws against false defamation as a crime, punishable by imprisonment [3].



[1] Henry Coleman Folkard, The Law of Slander and Libel, Butterworth & Co, London (1908), p.480; Citing the England Libel Act 1843.


[2] Jay Paul Gates & Nicole Marafioti, Capital and Corporal Punishment in Anglo-Saxon England, Boydell & Brewer (2014), p.27, p.45, p.150 and footnote 7; Citing “Law Code of King Alfred the Great” (“Domboc”) (ca.893 AD), Section 32.


[3] UNESCO, “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development” (2018), p.202; Finding that 130 of 193 (thus 67% of) UN member countries have criminal defamation laws.




Criminal Defamation Against Reputation


Although “false defamation” is usually not considered a crime by itself as such, it is a serious criminal offense when it constitutes “fraud” intended to cause loss by falsely damaging a professional reputation to interfere with honest lawful services:


This Common Law crime is codified in the United States Code as a “Scheme or Artifice to Defraud”, defined as deception “to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services” (18 USC 1346), punishable by 20 years in prison (18 USC 1343);


In the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth law, the crime of “Fraud Causing Loss” is codified in the UK Fraud Act 2006, as “false representation” to “cause loss” (§2(1)), including “intangible property” such as a professional reputation, clients, or honest services for clients (§5(2)), punishable by 10 years in prison (§1(3)(b)).


Note that such laws do not require any material benefit to be received by the defamer.  It is sufficient only to cause “loss” by interfering with legitimate services, to be a punishable criminal offense.


Anyone denying the legitimacy of IVU as an IGO, by denying or disregarding the legal proof of quoted laws with verifiable source references which is shows publicly, is making defamatory false statements.


Therefore, communicating such defamation which is provably false to third parties, to undermine legitimate services, constitutes criminal Fraud Causing Loss.  Ironically, while typically accusing others of “fraud” without basis, such unlawful false defamation itself engages in the most common form of real criminal fraud.




Criminal Defamation Against IGO Officials


It is mandated by international law, and thus also codified in national criminal law of essentially all countries, that defamation against any intergovernmental (IGO) Official, or any other Foreign Official, can in fact be prosecuted as a serious crime.


It is widely known, commonly understood, officially recognized, and legally codified, that defamation against any Official is almost always for the purpose of obstructing or influencing their official acts or functions.


For that reason, the crime is not merely defamation by itself, but rather is the use of defamation for criminal unlawful interference in the official activities of the State institution of the targeted Official.


Therefore, engaging in acts or even threats of defamation against an Official is a serious international crime, punishable by imprisonment, and enforceable in all countries.


The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of Ignita Veritas United (IVU) as an intergovernmental organization (IGO) will prosecute, to the fullest extent of the law, offenders who engage in or threaten defamation attacks against its IGO officials, or against other Foreign Officials of its Member States.



International Crime Against Officials


International law gives special law enforcement protections to Officials of an intergovernmental organization (IGO), and also to any other Foreign Officials of its Member States.  It is an international crime to attack the professional reputation of such Officials by defaming the IGO or the individuals:


The 1973 Convention on Internationally Protected Persons mandates that “any Official of a State or of an international organization of an intergovernmental character [IGO]” is “entitled to special protection” as an “internationally protected person” (Article 1.1(b)).


Thus, it is an international crime to commit “any attacks upon the person, freedom or dignity [reputation]”, thus including defamation, against such IGO or Foreign Official.  (Article 2.3.)


Note that attacks against “freedom” of an Official means and includes any acts or threats of defamation obstructing the right of “freedom” to practice one’s profession and to perform one’s official duties for the IGO.


Note that attacks against “dignity” inherently and necessarily mean and include any defamation undermining one’s reputation, including by defaming the IGO.



Obligations to Prosecute Worldwide


By international law, all States (meaning countries) are required to prosecute any crimes against an IGO or foreign Official, whenever “committed in the territory of” or by a “national of” that State (1973 Internationally Protected Persons, Article 3(b)-(c)).


As evidenced by American and British Commonwealth law, IGO or Foreign Officials are protected even when they are “outside” the State of the offender (18 USC 1116(c)), and against offenders who may be “outside” that State (18 USC 878(d)), regardless of whether the offense “might take place wholly or partly” outside an enforcing State (UK Serious Crime Act 2007, Schedule 4, Part 1, Part 2.1(d)).



Recognition and Enforcement as Crime


American federal law adopted and codified this protection, establishing reciprocity with other countries for its enforcement:


It also mandates that “any Officer of a foreign government or international organization… is entitled to special protection against attack upon his person, freedom or dignity [reputation]”, thus including defamation (18 USC 1116(4)(B)).


Any “attempts to intimidate, coerce, threaten, or harass” any IGO or Foreign Official, thus including acts or threats of defamation, or attempts to “obstruct a foreign official in the performance of his duties”, including by acts or threats of defamation, are punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment (18 USC 112(b)(2); 18 USC 878(a)).


Any such harassment involving defamation done “in connection with any extortionate demand”, such as threats of defamation to obstruct or influence official acts or functions, is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment (18 USC 878(b)).


The United Kingdom also adopted and codified this international crime, establishing reciprocity in the British Commonwealth of 56 countries:


It also specifically mandates “protection from attack on [the] person, freedom or dignity [reputation]”, thus including defamation, against any IGO or Foreign Official (UK Internationally Protected Persons Act (1978), Section 1(5)(b)).




Additional Crimes Involving Defamation


Additional crimes are committed when acts or threats of defamation are made in retaliation for one defending the targeted institution or professionals, or are made in cooperation with others:


Threats or harassment by defamation, in “retaliation” for the target asserting lawful rights and authorities, constitutes a separate felony crime of “Victim or Witness Intimidation” (1998 Declaration on Right to Protect Human Rights, Article 12.2; 1985 Declaration of Justice for Abuse of Power, Article 6(d)), punishable by up to an additional 10 years imprisonment (18 USC 1513(e)).


Unlawful combination or cooperation with any other individual or entity (i.e. an associate or media outlet publishing defamation) for any of the above also constitutes a separate felony crime of “Conspiracy Against Rights”, punishable by up to an additional 10 years imprisonment (18 USC 241; 18 USC 1513(e); 18 USC 1951(a)).




Help Defending Against False Defamation


For a convenient resource proving how Defamation reveals a criminal mind of the accuser, empowering the People to see through the deceptions, the IVU free report “Exposing Unlawful False Defamation” exposes the standard methods of attacks.


(Click for Exposing Defamation report)


For expert strategies and guidance on how to best defend against false Defamation attacks and prove legitimacy of one’s organization, the IVU free report “Stopping Unlawful False Defamation” provides practical methods and details.


(Click for Stopping Defamation report)


For expert help by qualified International Barristers of the Independent Legal Profession, to develop Evidence Packages of legitimacy and/or a Criminal Complaint, officially issued with international law firm certification, organizations can hire the IVU law center “Magna Carta Bar Chambers”.


(Click for Law Center overview)



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