The purpose of this analysis is to compare the different limitation periods applicable to defamation offences in Switzerland, Malta and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the periods after which the entry of the offence in the criminal record can be removed.
Defamation is an offence constituting an attack on honour. The right to honour is part of the rights of the personality. The addressee of the defamatory statements must be a third party for the offence to be committed.
Both legal entities and natural persons can be defamed.
Switzerland, Malta and the United Arab Emirates have legislation on defamation. In Switzerland, defamation is defined in a general way and can be committed regardless of the medium and means of communication. Like Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates defines defamation in a general way and it can be committed regardless of the medium and means of communication. However, defamation through publication in a newspaper or printed matter is an aggravating circumstance in the UAE. Maltese law provides for the offence of defamation only through written publications in the media. In all three jurisdictions, any person who relays the defamatory statement, but is not the author, may be guilty. This would be the case of publishers, for example.