Defamation Law in Russia in the context of the Council of Europe Standards on Media Freedom
This paper examines Russian defamation law and judicial policies to identify the extent to which they have been influenced by international legal standards on media freedom put forward in Europe by the Council of Europe (CoE). The main research method employed in this work is a qualitative comparative analysis of the CoE standards and the Russian national law as well as judicial practice. This paper suggests that the CoE standards have mostly an insufficient influence to the Russian legislation of defamation, and the discrepancy between the Russian and the CoE’s perspectives on defamation has increased during Russia’s membership in the CoE, especially because of the recent amendements on online defamation. The paper also argues that the CoE standards on defamation has had diverse impacts on the Russian judicial practice. The paper suggests that international organisations have the potential to become the main social platforms for resisting “weaponized” defamation but new effective measures should be devised for this.