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Protection of honor and dignity of humans is compared to history of mankind. During many centuries other standards were applied in respect of honor and dignity of humans, as well as the types of protection were different.

In middle ages a man had the right to throw down the gauntlet for the protection of his or her honor and dignity and challenge to a duel.

During the Soviet period certain legal normative numerous and diverse acts (laws about ethics and aesthetics, moral code) were applied in connection with the protection of honor and dignity. After the collapse of USSR, everybody and everything were liberalized. Many provisions regarding honor, dignity and business fame were also liberalized. Should we say that there is some border outside of which there is a taboo and one is not allowed to cross, it will mean one should not say anything since it is difficult to show the given border. I believe being liberalized in this system, particularly for us Armenians, it is worth having a law about honor and dignity which is harmoniously based on the past experience and traditions preserved by us. Armenians highly maintain their and their relatives' honor and dignity, which is considered to be an inseparable part of living mode of Armenians. In addition, each Armenian, unlike many other nations, is ready to protect not only theirs, but also their relatives’ (mother, sister, wife, child etc) honor and dignity, but outside the territory of their homeland. The notion of homeland and religion also means accepting and obliging others to follow this formula. “Do not touch my religion, honor and homeland”.

The present acting Article 19 of RA Civil Code relates to protection of honor, dignity and business fame.

1. Honor is an objective appraisal of moral, political, business, practical and other features given to people by the society.

2. Dignity is the consciousness of objective appraisal and self-consciousness of own values given by a person.

Honor and dignity are interconnected and form an organic unity. In spite of inseparable bond of honor and dignity, there is considerable difference between them which lies in the fact that honor is an objective social feature, whereas dignity is a subjective self-appraisal.

Therefore, it follows that in some way dignity depends on upbringing, state of excitement, perception etc. In other words, if a man lacks dignity and is not conscious of the significance of honor, then he or she will be in no condition to perform harmonious actions for the protection of honor.

The Legislation reserves the right to demand from a citizen to reject any information disrupting honor and dignity if the person spreading such information fails to prove that they do not correspond to the reality. The Legislation does not envisage even an approximate list for disreputing information by allowing the court to determine the need for rejecting them based on the developed ethical norms, business customs and precedents in each specific case. If the information spread by the society is deemed to be reprehensible and blameworthy, then such information is regarded as disreputable. For example, robbers, bribe-takers, drug addicts, homeless people etc. If we say talkative, ugly, coquette etc, they cannot become the object of juridical examination. It follows that a person acquires the right for the protection of honor and dignity only when the spreading of information is false and that the conveyed facts have not occurred in reality and are fabrications etc. For example, Levon Ananyan, the president of Writer’s Union is accused of owning a hotel complex in Georgia and selling the policlinic of the writer’s union and the building of the writer’s union.

The distributed information is false and fabricated and the conveyed facts correspond to the reality. If it is not so, then the person acquired the rights for the protection of honor and dignity.

The Legislation stipulates various ways of protection of honor and dignity:

a. If information was spread via mass media, then the person whose honor and dignity was tarnished, can apply to the mass media before applying to courts so as to reject or publish his or her response. Rejection or response is published on free of charge basis. Regardless of the fact that the person applied so as to reject the information it is not free to seek court’s protection. Many lawyers are of the opinion that the person shall be entitled to apply to the court if no response or rejection was published in mass media.

I think that Section 1 of Article 19 of RA Civil Code gives anyone freedom to seek a court’s protection without applying to mass media. After decriminalizing defamation and offence, the legislation stipulates that the persons causing defamation or offence shall reimburse to the one whose honor and dignity was tarnished through offence or defamation at the rate of up to 1000 times more than the minimal salary in case of offence and in 2000 times more than minimal salary in case of defamation as a result of offence or defamation.