Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/317

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303
PRESS LAWS

upon public notices (affiches) other than those of public authorities. None but the notices of public authorities may be printed on white paper.

Germany.—Censorship was introduced by the diet of Spires in 1529. From that time till 1848 there were numerous restrictions on the liberty of the press. One of the most important was a resolution of the diet of the German confederation, passed on the 20th of September 1819 as a sequel to the Carlsbad decrees (q.v.), by which newspapers were subject to licence and police supervision in each state. Liberty dates, as in Austria and Italy, from 1848. Soon after that year, however, it became necessary to establish press laws in most of the German states, as in Bavaria in 1850, Prussia and Baden in 1851. Since the establishment of the new empire censorship has disappeared. By art. 74 of the constitution of the empire (1871) every one attacking the empire or its officers through the press is liable to punishment in his own state. By art. 4 the laws relating to the press are under imperial and not local control. The press law of the 7th of May 1874 is therefore in force throughout the whole empire. At its beginning it affirms the liberty of the press. Its main provisions are these: The name and address of the printer must appear on all printed matter. Newspapers and periodicals must in addition bear the name of some one person, domiciled in the empire, as responsible editor, and a copy of every number must be deposited with the police authorities of the district in which it is published. Foreign periodicals may be excluded by proclamation of the Imperial chancellor for two years, if twice within the year they have been guilty of certain offences against the penal code. Criminal proceedings are not to be reported while still sub judice. The order of responsibility for offences is the same as in France. Proceedings must be taken within six months. In certain cases printed matter may be seized without the order of a court. This may take place where (1) the publication does not bear the name of printer or editor, (2) military secrets are revealed in time of war, (3) justice would be defeated by the publication not being immediately seized. A judicial tribunal is to decide at once upon the legality of the seizure. The press law is not to affect regulations made in time of war or internal disturbance. A temporary law passed in 1878 gave the police large powers in the case of socialistic publications. Only offences involving heavy penalties are tried by jury. The proposal of the Reichstag that all press offences should be so tried was rejected by the governments, except as regards those states (Bavaria, Württemberg, Baden, Oldenburg) where this principle was already in force.

Greece.—Under King Otto censorship was exercised up to 1844. By the constitution of the 18th of March 1844 every one may publish his thoughts by means of the press, observing the laws of the state. The press is free, and censorship (λογοκρισία) is not permitted. Responsible editors, publishers and printers of newspapers are not required to deposit money on the ground of surety. Publishers of newspapers must be Greek citizens (art. 10). The legislature may exclude reporters from its sittings in certain cases (art. 48). Press offences are to be tried by jury, except when they deal only with private life (art. 93).

Holland.—The press has been free since the existence of the present kingdom of the Netherlands, which dates from 1815. Liberty of the press is expressly secured by art. 8 of the constitution of 1848. By art. 286 of the penal code seditious books and newspapers may be seized. By art. 283 of the same code and by a royal decree of the 25th of January 1814 the name of the printer must appear upon newspapers. Press offences are not tried by jury.

Italy.—By art. 27 of the political code of Sardinia, granted by Charles Albert on the 4th of March 1848, and still in force, the press is free, but abuses of the liberty are restrained by law. The present press law of Italy is contained in the law of the 26th of March 1848, as altered by later enactments. Everything printed in typographical characters, or by lithography or any similar means, must indicate the place and the date of printing and the name of the printer. A copy of everything printed must be deposited with certain officials and at certain libraries. Before the publication of any newspaper or periodical, notice of the intended publication must be given at the office of the secretary of state or internal affairs. The notice must contain (1) a declaration of the legal qualification of the person intending to publish, whether as proprietor or editor, (2) the nature of the publication, and (3) the name and residence of the responsible editor. Every newspaper is bound to insert gratuitously a contradiction or explanation of any charge made against a person in its columns. For contravention of these and other regulations there is a statutory penalty not exceeding 1000 lire (£40). The publication of a newspaper may be suspended until the payment of a fine. The publication of parliamentary debates is permitted. Press offences are tried by a jury of twelve. By a law of the 11th of May 1877 it is forbidden to publish any indication of the way in which individual judges or jurors voted in their deliberations.

Norway.—The liberty of the press is secured by art. 100 of the constitution of 1814. No one can be punished for any writing unless he, or some one by his instigation, offend against the state, law, religion or decency, or make infamous accusations against any one. Criticism of the government is expressly permitted.

Ottoman Empire.—By art. 12 of the constitution of the 23rd of December 1876 the press was recognized as free, subject to the limits imposed by law. The constitution was, however, “suspended,” and a rigorous censorship was enforced, under the direction of Sultan Abd-ul-Hamid II., until the revolution of 1908.

Portugal.—It is stated by Braga and others that a free press existed up to the establishment of the Inquisition, and that Gil Vicente (d. 1536) was the last writer who dared to express his thoughts freely. At a later period Bocage was imprisoned for writings displeasing to the authorities. Boards of censorship under the names of the “Real mesa censoria,” or the “Mesa do desembargo do pago,” assumed to license publications. Liberty of the press was, however, finally secured, and censorship limited, by art. 7 of the constitution granted by John VI. in 1821. By art. 8 a special tribunal was constituted in both Portugal and Brazil to protect the liberty of printing. The censorship was confined to that exercised by the bishops over theological or dogmatic works. The debates in the legislature and proceedings in the courts of justice are not generally reported.

Rumania.—By the constitution of the 30th of June 1866, art. 5, Rumanians enjoy liberty of the press. By art. 24 the constitution guarantees to all the liberty of communicating and publishing ideas through the press, every one being liable for abuse in cases determined by the penal code. Press offences are to be tried by jury. Censorship is abolished, and is never to be re-established. No previous authorization is necessary for the publication of newspapers. No sureties are to be demanded from journalists, writers, editors or printers. The press is not to be subjected to regulation of advertisements. No newspaper or publication is to be suspended or suppressed. Every author is responsible for his writings; in default of the author, the manager or editor is responsible. Every newspaper must have a responsible manager in the possession of civil and political rights.

Russia.—The position of the Russian press generally was, previously to the revolution of 1905, regulated by a law of the 6th of April 1865. The effect of that law was to exempt from preventive censorship (if published in St Petersburg or Moscow) all newspapers, periodicals and original works and translations not exceeding a certain number of pages, and (wherever published) all government publications, matter printed by academies, universities and scientific bodies, and maps, plans, and charts. Everything printed and published that did not fall within any of these categories had, before issue to the public, to be submitted for the approval of government censors stationed in different parts of the empire. The minister of the interior had power to dispense with the preventive censorship in the case of provincial newspapers and periodicals. In St Petersburg and Moscow the periodical press was subject to corrective censorship for infringement of the numerous restrictive regulations contained in the code, and supplemented at times by secret instructions from the minister of the interior to editors and publishers. Apart from the code, the sustained display of a spirit hostile to the government rendered the publisher of a periodical liable to punishment. The penalties established by the law of 1865 for offences against the press regulations consisted in the infliction of a series of warnings published in the Official Gazette. A first warning merely enjoined more care for the future; a second was followed by suspension for a certain period, sometimes by a prohibition to insert advertisements; a third by suppression, and perhaps prosecution of the offending conductor. By Imperial ukaz of the 2nd of June 1872 the jurisdiction of the judicial tribunals over press offences was practically transferred to the minister of the interior, except in the case of violation of private rights, as by libel. The law of 1865 was modified in 1874 by a regulation to the effect that all publications appearing at longer intervals than one week should be submitted to the central board of censors. This applied to all periodicals that had been formerly published without preventive censorship. By a ukaz issued in 1881 a committee of four members was entrusted with the decision of all matters relating to the press submitted to it by the minister of the interior. The strictest supervision was exercised over the foreign press, periodical and otherwise. None but a few privileged individuals, such as members of the royal family, foreign diplomatists, and editors of newspapers in the capital, might receive foreign publications free of censorship. The censorship consisted in blackening out, and sometimes in the excision, of whole columns and sheets of publications that might be deemed pernicious. Only such periodicals as were placed on a list approved by the board of censors were allowed to be received through the post office by non-privileged persons. Telegraphic messages to newspapers were subject to strict censorship. The Russian telegraphic press agency is under official management.

Full liberty of the press was guaranteed by the Imperial ukaz of the 17th of October 1905, and though no special legislation followed the censorship was for a time de facto abolished. With the progress of the reaction, however, the old conditions were to a certain extent re-established. In St Petersburg, for instance, the newspapers were in 1909 again under the absolute jurisdiction of chief of police and were forbidden to publish any reference to members of the Imperial family or to the affairs of Poland (except official notices). In 1908 as many as 73 newspapers and periodicals were suppressed, of which 28 were in St Petersburg alone.