Garnett and Richardson on “Libel Tourism or Just Redress? Reconciling the (English) Right to Reputation with the (American) Right to Free Speech in Cross-Border Libel Cases”

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University of Melbourne – Law School professors, Richard Garnett and Megan L. Richardson, have published a new cross-border libel paper on SSRN entitled: “Libel Tourism or Just Redress? Reconciling the (English) Right to Reputation with the (American) Right to Free Speech in Cross-Border Libel Cases”,  Journal of Private International Law, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 471-490, 2009/U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 504. The abstract reads:

The application of private international law rules in cross-border libel cases has long been a controversial issue with little international consensus. The matter has flared with particular intensity recently in a number of English decisions involving US defendant publishers. In such cases English courts have applied domestic jurisdictional and choice of law standards without regard to international instruments such as the European Union Regulation on Jurisdiction and Judgments (Brussels I) or The Regulation on the Law Applicable to Non-Contractual Obligations (Rome II).

What are these standards? First, in terms of jurisdiction, an English court will allow a claimant to serve a non-EU foreign publisher out of the jurisdiction in respect of publications in England based on the fact that the local publications involve damage suffered arising from a tortious act committed in the forum. The existence of a local tort, when accompanied by a local reputation, means that in practice a defendant will rarely, if ever, be able to have proceedings dismissed on the ground that a foreign court is a more appropriate forum. Secondly, each act of publication creates a separate cause of action. Thirdly, in terms of choice of law, English law is exclusively applied to publications occurring in England. Finally, the English domestic law of libel focuses predominantly on vindicating the claimant’s right to reputation (whether a public or private figure) rather than protecting the defendant’s right to freedom of expression and so is generous to plaintiffs by international and certainly US standards.

 

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One Response to “Garnett and Richardson on “Libel Tourism or Just Redress? Reconciling the (English) Right to Reputation with the (American) Right to Free Speech in Cross-Border Libel Cases””

  1. irene Says:

    Canadian blawg award-(TIE)

    Erik Magraken Victoria yes! who else could even be considered,he is still #1!(difficult act to follow!)he is with a winning team,MacIsaac and Company a”gentle tiger”when I remember Erik Magraken as my lawyer I think of this quote,

    “A MOMENT’S HONOUR TO THE WORTHY IS BETTER THEN LONG CONTINUED HONOUR TO THE UNWORTHY”

    all are equal,you are his client he is working for you with you his personal touch and need to win makes him second to none in his field of law (personal injury)he sure gets my vote, his blog is always interesting and full of wisdom with up to date law issues one would be hard pressed to find else where.

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