Kate Sutherland on "Book Reviews, the Common Law Tort of Defamation, and the Suppression of Scholarly Debate"


Kate Sutherland (York University – Osgoode Hall Law School) has a new SSRN post entitled: “Book Reviews, the Common Law Tort of Defamation, and the Suppression of Scholarly Debate“, German Law Journal, Vol. 11, No. 6, pp. 656-670, 2010. Here’s the abstract:
Professor Joseph Weiler will soon stand trial for criminal libel in France for refusing to remove a book review from a website associated with an academic journal for which he serves as editor. His case has disturbing implications for all those who write, edit, and publish critical scholarly work. In this article, I explore those implications for Canadian scholars at home and as members of a global scholarly community. I assess the likelihood of success of a similar complaint under Canadian defamation law, and I consider the impact of libel chill and libel tourism. I conclude that although the defendant in such a case would have a good chance of prevailing under Canadian law through the defense of fair comment, a threat to academic freedom remains that requires action on the part of individuals and institutions committed to its preservation and enhancement.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: