Some Thoughts on Libel Tourism
31 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2011
Date Written: December 31, 2010
This paper addresses the topic of “libel tourism,” a phrase used to describe cases where plaintiffs sue for defamation in a foreign jurisdiction and then seek to enforce judgments in the U.S., where the outcome might have been different because of protections for speech embodied in the United States Constitution. A number of commentators have discussed libel tourism at length, and this paper does not provide a treatise on the topic. Rather, it reviews recent reactions from legislators, courts, and commentators, and then offer some thoughts about whether these reactions appropriately balance concerns of comity and free speech. Ultimately, the essay concludes that U.S. attempts to address the issue of libel tourism have been quite broad, and suggests a more cautious approach that would better contribute to maintaining America’s role as a leader in the evolving world of tort law.
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