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Czech law

Post-mortal protection of personal rights in the Czech republic

Czech Civil Code belongs to the legal system where the protection of the posthumous interests is expressly stated in the code (likewise Austria, Hungary, Greece, Portugal, Slovak Republic). It determinates the class of the people that are entitled to bring an action in case that the honour, dignity or other enduring rights after the death of the relevant person (the scope of the protected interests differs, like privacy) is infinged. The remedy that the entitled person is allowed to require is until 31.12.2013 the moral satisfaction.

The protection in the Czech system is stated in Art. 15 of the Civil code:
„After the death of the individual, the right to protection of his or her personhood may be asserted by his or her spouse (registered partner) or children or, if there are no spouse or children, to his or her parents.“

Above entitled persons can bring their own claim if the statement or the act used reflect on their own reputation and cause the injury. In this case they are entitled monetary compensation (according to the Art. 11 of the Civil Code).

New Civil code (in force 1.1.2014) broaden the class of the entitled person according to the German concept of the close relatives (not only spouse (or registered partner), children, parents, but also grandchildren, brother, sister, brother-in-law, and other close person).

The executor or the successors will be allowed to continue in an action that has been raised by the claimant prior to his death. The monetary compensation will be inheritable.

If the personal aspects of the Deceased is exploited for the commercial use,  according to the S.3004  the plaintiff may recover the doubled value of the plaintiff’s profits usual in these circumstances (similar legal basis as in Copyright law).

In this respect the right of publicity claim has relationship with a copyright claim. If the infringing use of one’s personal right (image, likeness, identity etc.) primarily involves use of copyrighted work, than there is possibility to bring a claim in respect of breach of the Copyright.

For this issue see the post

The commercial appropriation of personal rights – Publicity Rights in the Czech Republic Part 2 from 6.9.2013

The Constitutional Court plays an important role in establishing what falls into the notion of the protection. However the right was not created by the Constitutional Court as in Germany or Austria under the concept of the basic right of the dignity and free development of the personality as the Czech legal system provided expressive regulation in Code.

Case law

30 Cdo 3176/2009 the Supreme Court:
It is a violation of the honour of the deceased person if he is associated with the Nazi person and is alleged that he collaborated with Nazi party.

30 Cdo 2782/2007 the Supreme Court:
It might be violation of the deceased person if the personal things are thrown away in disrespect manner.

I.US 2477/08 the Constitutional court
It is a violation of the pieta if the person is not allowed to own the grave.

30 Cdo 3361/2007 the Supreme Court

the picture of the burnt body from the accident published in the newspaper infinged not only perosnal rights of the living parents and relatives but also dignity and right to own image of the deceased person.


About ondrejovae

Czech Attorney/Barrister located in Prague with specialization in media law and protection of personal rights


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Link to the legal office of the owner of this blog:  www.ondrejova.cz


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