Spanish court recognises Gib’s right to contest defamatory comments in Spain

Spanish court recognises Gib’s right to contest defamatory comments in Spain

The Spanish Supreme Court yesterday ruled in favour of the Gibraltar Government and concluded it had the right to contest and call for “rectification and correction” in respect of any incorrect facts which may be published in the Spanish media and may be deemed harmful to Gibraltar institutions and society.

The ruling yesterday was the culmination of a lengthy legal battle and a series of appeals between the Gibraltar Government and the Spanish daily newspaper ABC.

The Gibraltar Government began an action in 2015 in the Spanish courts for “rectification and correction” against ABC after it published a front page cover and article about Gibraltar in February of that year in which it made a series of claims against Gibraltar.

These were considered wholly inaccurate and defamatory by the Gibraltar Government which challenged the newspaper over its coverage.

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The newspaper rejected this challenge and argued this on the basis that Gibraltar was not a legal entity in Spain.
The judgement yesterday by Rafael Sarazá Jimena recognises that the Gibraltar Governments has an “active legitimacy” and a right to rectify published information.

Yesterday the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said the Government was very pleased that the legally correct conclusion has been reached which “recognizes the legal personality of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar”.

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