Publishing offences

The still relatively young term "media criminal law" refers to all the prohibitions and related legal questions that are either directed specifically or typically to members of the media. These include the penal norms of the respective State press laws and the libel and slander offenses of the German criminal code, as well as offenses in the Copyright Act or, more recently, the Telemedia Act.

In addition, media criminal law includes criminal procedural norms such as the right to refuse testimony of members of the media (section 52 para. 1 no. 5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure) and the procedural norms of the State press laws.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Alexander Ignor has dealt with the complex relationship between protection from defamation and freedom of expression since his PhD thesis on the criminality of insults (1995). Since then, he has consistently defended the liberal jurisprudence of the Federal Constitutional Court, and on this basis has defended many media members against prosecutions.

On the other hand, he is committed to the protection from defamation when he regards the limits of permissible speech to be crossed. For the 26th edition of the famous Löwe-Rosenberg Commentary on the Code of Criminal Procedure, he and Dr. Camilla Bertheau, among other things, commented in detail on the scope of the right to refuse the testimony of media professionals (section 52 para. 1 no. 5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure) and gave their opinion on current disputes.

One highlight of the legal commitment to press freedom is certainly the defence of the chief editor of the magazine CICERO, Dr. Wolfram Weimer, and his successful representation in the constitutional complaints procedure at the Federal Constitutional Court by Prof. Dr. Dr. Alexander Ignor. The CICERO ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court is widely regarded as a further milestone for the freedom of the press in the Federal Republic.