Libel Tourism


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A type of 'forum shopping' in which plaintiffs choose to file libel suits in a jurisdiction more likely to give a favourable result, especially in England and Wales, in preference to other jurisdictions, such as the US, which provide more extensive defences for those accused of making libellous (derogatory) statements
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It includes recent laws and regulations addressing libel tourism, cyberstalking, sexting, and online privacy, and new case studies related to WikiLeaks' posts of classified information, file sharing, music licensing, and the claims that social media sites assert over user-posted intellectual property.
32), the reasons why libel tourism "has become a lucrative trade for London lawyers" can be summarized as follows:
My fight against the enforcement of the British libel judgment - first in New York and then with the US federal government - and the subsequent criticism of British libel tourism by American legislators and media, led to the passage of local and federal laws protecting American journalists, authors and publishers from the enforcement of any foreign libel judgments.
64 "Moreover, although this claim has connections to more than one forum, given the strength of the connections between the plaintiff and Ontario, it is not at all clear that the plaintiff is engaged in libel tourism and that Quebec would be a clearly more appropriate forum.
The case which brought the issue of libel tourism into prominence and prompted the legislative response in the United States was the decision in Bin Mahfouz v Ehrenfeld.
A Jurisdictional Response to Libel Tourism, Robert McFarland addresses how U.
He adds: " Examples of libel tourism include a Saudi businessman pursuing an American writer through the English courts over a book which had sold 23 copies in the UK, and an Indian politician who won a hefty out- of- court settlement because she disliked the way she was portrayed in Katherine Frank's biography, Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi .
Ireland and France too are increasingly popular stopovers on the libel tourism trail, although Paris is attractive not because of the size of the awards (which are capped at 12,000 euros), but because libel is still considered a criminal case.
So people have flocked to the British courts to file libel lawsuits (forum-shopping allows plaintiff s to bring lawsuits where the substantive law is most favorable to them, not where there is the strongest connection to the dispute)--hence the term libel tourism.
While free speech needs defending, there is a fear among members of the international legal community that part of the outcry over libel tourism in the U.
As Andrew McCarthy at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies observes, "In the battle of ideas, the challenge of libel tourism asks: Will we set free the vaunted marketplace of ideas or will we unilaterally disarm?
Although the court noted the "pernicious" effect of libel tourism "to chill free speech in the United States," it declined jurisdiction over bin Mahfouz based on the mere fact that he had obtained a foreign libel judgment against Ehrenfeld.