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Can a "like" on Facebook challenge the impartiality of a Judge?

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The so common use that we make of the RRSS in recent times, makes it so simple and "public" for us to show our tastes and opinions, that sometimes we can raise some other conflict at a professional level.

This is the case of a Gijón Criminal Judge, whoseimpartiality to resolve on a possible crime of libel has been recently questioned. The reason is a “like” that the Honorable Member gave to the Facebook page of a company, which he later had to judge as being reported, for having made a series of photomontages in which the complainant appeared.

Our legal system regulates as constitutional protection the "right to an impartial judge" and for this it enables a mechanism through the LOPJ known as "abstention and recusal" of the Judge who is hearing the judicial procedure. So if between the Judge and any of the parties to the process intimate friendship or overt enmity, it will not be able to resolve the dispute, since it would be violating this constitutional right of the parties to an "impartial judge".

The complainant tried to challenge the judge on the grounds that the "like" supposed that there was a certain relationship with the company denounced, a satirical publication. However, this challenge has been rejected with an argument that, due to the matter in question, is novel.

Thus, it has been considered that the act of clicking a "like" cannot be understood as an intimate friendship relationship with the author of the publication; and especially when, as in the specific case, the judge's "like" did not postulate on the specific publication made regarding the complainant.

Every day legal litigation that is initiated as a result of acts carried out through social networks is more frequent.

Although there is a belief that expressing opinions through these means does not have legal consequences, there is nothing further from the truth. At the end of the day, social networks are nothing more than a platform where certain crimes are committed which, as in the case of injuries, were previously committed face to face. The metaphor would be to compare Facebook with any public square.

(Photo: Pixabay)


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