Saturday, 24 July 2010
US starts putting the brakes on libel tourism
The Committe to Protect Journalists reports some good news for US journalists which should stop them being sued in the British libel courts.
It reports: "This week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill shielding journalists and publishers from 'libel tourism.' The vote on Monday slipped past the Washington press corps largely unnoticed.
"Maybe it was the title that strove chunkily for a memorable acronym: the Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage (SPEECH) Act. Journalists and press freedom defenders outside the United States did, however, pay attention to the legislation, which they hope will spur libel law reform in their countries.
"The bill, which is expected to sail through the House of Representatives and become law soon, protects U.S. journalists and writers from libel suits filed by repressive governments or wealthy tycoons in foreign jurisdictions such as England, where the law is heavily skewed in favor of the plaintiff."