The President of Panama, Martín Torrijos, kept his word to the IAPA and repealed all laws restricting freedom of the press in effect since the time of the dictatorship. Furthermore, the “insult laws” were taken off the books. These had enabled any duly authorized government official to levy fines or imprison any person they felt had disrespected their office. President Torrijos signed the Declaration of Chapultepec. However, the newly enacted Law 22 includes a provision for a right of reply. This would oblige the media to publish a response when requested by an individual who considers the he has suffered an injury due to “false or defamatory information.” This reply or response is to be granted equal time or space as the injurious report or reference. The law establishes fines $500 to $5,000 for the offense. This aspect of the law is troubling and, in fact, has become a new restriction on press freedom, specifically because of the number of requests for reply made by public officials in response to any news story. In practice the law is unclear and legally vague, and fails to even establish which courts would hear the cases. In August a criminal court convicted El Panamá América newspaper and its journalist, Gustavo Aparicio, as well as Jean Marcel Chery with La Prensa in a lawsuit brought by Supreme Court Chief Justice, Winston Spadafora. The court case was brought over stories by Gustavo Aparicio and Jean Marcel Chery that justice Spadafora had benefited from a publicly-funded highway construction project near his rural property. The aforementioned case against El Panamá América and againstAparicio and Chery with La Prensa, is revealing of a serious and persistent problem in Panama represented by libel laws protecting government officials. This precedent can be used to bring attachment proceedings against any media outlet for publishing stories or news involving government officials. There is no right to a fair trial when the plaintiff is a Supreme Court justice. Notwithstanding the latest advances in repealing gag laws, it is clear that the courts maintain a stubborn tendency to convict journalists without having shown criminal intent or actual malice Legislation has been proposed that would repeal laws covering defamation and libel by decriminalizing such acts and moving them to the jurisdiction of civil courts. Another bill seeks to regulate journalism and establish qualifications for work as a journalist.