English

T-695/2017 Freedom of opinion can not be used to defame

Freedom of expression is a fundamental pillar in the Colombian democratic system and in the Political Constitution, but this does not mean that this right can be exercised in an unlimited, negligent and disrespectful way of the fundamental rights to good name, privacy and  honor. This was the conclusion of  the  Constitutional Court when ruling a "tutela" in which it ordered to rectify inaccurate information made by a "Concejal" from Medellín, against a lawyer.

The Court reiterated that the privileged place occupied by freedom of expression in the Colombian constitutional order, which gives it even a presumption in its favor, does not enable this right to be exercised in an unrestricted, negligent and disrespectful manner of fundamental rights to the good name, privacy and honor of others. However, freedom of expression also allows opinions or ideas to be expressed autonomously, without limiting the criteria of truthfulness and impartiality; situation that does not imply that such statements may have insulting, humiliating or humiliating content, or may denote intention to harm, without causing an impairment of the right to honor the person and a consequent reaction of constitutional protection. Therefore, in this case, the Concejal Guerra Hoyos can not protect himself in his freedom of opinion, to make disproportionate statements that provoke the discredit of the plaintiff, such as the one referred to as "she is a lawyer of dubious reputation".