ACD in the media

Free Speech, Libel Tourism and the Little Sabra Who Could*

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

How a feisty Israeli-American scholar faced down a Saudi billionaire banker and an arrogant British judge-and strengthened free speech rights in the process. I first heard of Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld in the spring of 2005. A New York-based, Israeli-born American expert on terrorism and economic warfare, Ehrenfeld had published a... ...

Ehrenfeld on Hacking into Airplanes Controls*

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Adam Kredo’s “Cyber Experts: FBI Ignoring Hack Threats to Airplane Wi-Fi. Law enforcement still sees no credible threat,” appeared today in the Washington Free Beacon: “Law enforcement officials are downplaying reports that a U.S. hacker infiltrated a commercial airliner Wi-Fi network mid-flight and assumed control of the craft’s controls, according to one... ...

On Libel And The Law, U.S. And U.K. Go Separate Ways

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Left: The Old Bailey in London (Image: Old Bailey via Shutterstock.com) In the U.S. this past week, HBO aired the documentary Going Clear, about the Church of Scientology, to strong reviews. The nonfiction book on which the film is based was short-listed for the National Book Award. Yet there have been serious challenges to releasing the... ...

Weekly Briefing – February 16-20, 2015

Friday, February 20th, 2015

“If Only Germany Had Solved Its Unemployment Problem in 1933, Germans Wouldn’t Have Become Nazis…Er, Maybe not.” – David P. Goldman (Sprengler) Denmark’s Compromised “Values” – Rachel Ehrenfeld – The Danes should have known better, but they continue to ignore the writings on the wall. Instead, they have compromised their... ...

“Shukan Shincho” Interviews Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld

Monday, February 16th, 2015

The article (left), about ISIS’s financial resources was published for the Japanese weekly magazine “Shukan Shincho“. It includes an interview of the ACD Director, Rachel Ehrenfeld....

‘Jimmy Carter Never Met ‘Islamic Terrorist He Didn’t Like’ – Ehrenfeld on NEWSMAX TV

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Terrorism expert Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld on Thursday slammed former President Jimmy Carter for his planned speech at a fundraiser for a terrorism group linked to Hamas, telling Newsmax TV that “Mr. Carter has never met an Islamic terrorist that he didn’t like.” “Mr. Carter started his involvement with, as far as I know,... ...

Backgrounder: Students for Justice in Palestine

Friday, July 18th, 2014

The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) today exists as a consortium of campus “clubs” throughout the American and Canadian college systems which work to oppose the existence of Israel and to promote Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the Jewish state. There are at least 80 chapters of these clubs... ...

Next Steps in Cyber Security*

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Mounting cyber attacks on the economic interests of the United States are a constant reminder that, despite the billions of dollars spent by both the U.S. government and the private sector to date, our cyber defenses are lacking. This is not to say that the U.S. government is ignoring the... ...

Weekly Briefing – May 24-30, 2014

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Time to Debunk Political Islam – Rachel Ehrenfeld – Islamism has been accepted by the West as simply another political point of view and its growing efforts and sometimes violent acts to force its dictates, has been met with little, if any resistance especially since September 11, 2001. On May 23,... ...

Guerra de espias

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

GEOPOLÍTICA Al acusar a China de robarle secretos industriales, Estados Unidos se enfrenta con el gigante asiático. En junio de 2013, las imágenes de Barack Obama y de Xi Jinping paseando sin corbata por los jardines en el rancho californiano de Sunnylands eran elocuentes. El don de gentes del estadounidense... ...

Leadership as a Last Resort*

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

The United States has been punching well below its weight for five years, and that’s got to stop. It is hardly surprising that in its second term the Obama Administration lacks a coherent international strategy. There was none in the first term either—and far from learning from its first five... ...

"Dan’s Law" – The Super Lawyer Behind "Rachel’s Law"

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

The “Super Lawyer” Daniel Kornstein – the lawyer behind New York State’s “Rachel’s Law” (2008) and “The Federal 2010 – SPEECH Act,” protecting American writers and publishers from enforcement of foreign libel judgement in the U.S. Click here to read article....

Bill To Counter Lawsuits Vs. Journalists Introduced

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

A bill introduced Aug. 2 in the U.S. Senate would enable news media to counter SLAPP suits filed to suppress their reporting. Sen. Jon Kyl, R–Ariz., introduced the Free Press Act of 2012 (S.B. 3493), a measure designed to protect the First Amendment rights of journalists and Internet service providers by giving them... ...

Campus Hate Speech And Speech Codes

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Many of the finest and most honest minds – conservative and liberal — in and out of academia have argued, and sometimes succeeded, that campus speech codes often cross the line to suppression of First Amendment freedom of speech. The excesses in the wording of such codes, their arbitrary and... ...

The Speech Act, A View From Abroad

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

The SPEECH Act [1] was enacted in 2010 and was intended to protect American authors and publishers from the risk of US judicial enforcement of defamation judgments rendered in less media-friendly jurisdictions – most often, England. In a nutshell, the SPEECH Act requires that American courts deny recognition or enforcement to any... ...

Ad Site Crimes: Shutdown Isn’t The Solution

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Natasha Curtis made four. All women. All found dead in car trunks in Detroit. Three of the four apparently advertised themselves as available for escort services on Backpage.com, a classified site owned by Village Voice Media. There is no debating the human tragedy here. Voices are now demanding a forced shuttering of Backpage.com. Among... ...

Home Court Advantage

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

THANKS to the Internet, universal access to the printed word and economic globalization, the 21st century is expected to be shaped by the free exchange of ideas. But casting a shadow over this optimistic prediction is the emerging threat of “libel tourism.” In 2004, Khalid bin Mahfouz, a billionaire Saudi... ...

One Daring Woman

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Rachel Ehreneld, the author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed – and How to Stop It, incurred a default judgment against her in a British libel suit filed by a Saudi banker named in the book. Her reaction led to a new federal law in the United States, the SPEECH Act... ...

Libel Tourism In Britain, R.I.P.?

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

The British government is, at last, moving to reform the country’s notorious libel law, which has long made London a magnet for frivolous lawsuits. The reform proposal presented to Parliament last week by Kenneth Clarke, the justice secretary, is far from perfect but represents a reasonable first effort to change... ...

In Britain, Curbing Lawsuits Over Libel

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Some tourists head to London to visit Big Ben or the Tate museum. For wealthy individuals or celebrities who feel that they can sue the news media under Britain’s libel laws, the Royal Courts of Justice have long been a popular stop. The issue rose to international prominence after a... ...

Change In British Law A Victory For Free Speech Worldwide

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

A change in British libel laws will correct a situation where draconian libel laws led to silence. Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld won the battle for everyone. Britain is about to change its libel laws. This development rates as world news for a few reasons: Britain will no longer be the favored... ...

Draft Defamation Bill Welcomed In US

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Rachel Ehernfeld’s case highlighted the problem of “libel tourism” in English courts. Emily Badger got her reaction to the government’s proposed reforms The arrival of England’s draft defamation bill was cheered in the US, where the long reach of “libel tourism” had prompted domestic bills shielding Americans from judgments that chill free... ...

Pending Reforms May Provide The Scientific Community Relief From The U.K's Far-Reaching Libel Law

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Some science and medical journal editors avoid publishing research findings that could draw lawsuits under restrictive libel laws. Journalists also find this law chilling. A new U.K. bill set for this spring could protect scholars’ and reporters’ free speech rights The U.K.’s Ministry of Justice is due in March to... ...

Speech Act Strikes A Blow Against Libel Tourism

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

‘Libel tourism” is a term used to describe a type of forum shopping in which a plaintiff chooses to file a libel suit in a jurisdiction that is believed to be more likely to provide the plaintiff with a favorable result, and then tries to enforce that judgment in a... ...

Free Speech Victory

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

On August 10, a major victory for freedom of speech was achieved. President Obama signed the Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage Act (SPEECH Act) into law, stopping Americans from being sued for libel by individuals in other countries with inadequate First Amendment rights. The legislation is a... ...

Shut Up, The Islamists Explained

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

You may not have heard of Rachel Ehrenfeld or the SPEECH Act (Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage Act), the one truly bipartisan piece of legislation passed unanimously during the Obama presidency. Ehrenfeld, the SPEECH Act, and the relative unenthusiasm that greeted the passage of legislation that concerns... ...

Standing Up For Free Speech

Monday, September 20th, 2010

NEW LAW DEFENDS U.S. JOURNALISTS FROM FOREIGN LIBEL LAWSUITS Earlier this summer, Congress unanimously passed a bill that protects investigative journalists from harassing lawsuits filed in foreign courts. Rather than trumpet this bipartisan achievement, President Obama has remained curiously silent. The Securing the Protection of Our Enduring and Established Constitutional... ...

New Speech Act Provides Limited Protections For Website Operators, Authors And Publishers Against Libel Tourism

Monday, September 20th, 2010

For years, U.S. writers and publishers have faced the threat of “libel tourism” suits by foreigners, who take advantage of England’s plaintiff-friendly libel laws to get large judgments and injunctions against authors and publishers of writings they don’t like. For example, in 2003, Rachel Ehrenfeld published Funding Evil: How Terrorism... ...

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld Interview: Terrorism Funding Expert On Speech Act And 9/11

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

On August 10, 2010, President Obama signed into law the SPEECH Act (the Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage) to guard American authors and publishers from enforcement of frivolous foreign libel judgments that undermine the First Amendment and American due process standards. The frontrunner in the... ...

New Law Will Help Protect Freedom Of Speech For Americans Overseas

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Imagine you are a tourist visiting a foreign country and you witness police officers challenging young women in the street. After the police move on, you learn that this is a common “shakedown” for protection money. You return home and write a short article in your local newspaper about what... ...

U.S. Libel Tourism Protection Act Signed Into Law, British Activists See Call For Reform

Friday, August 27th, 2010

In mid-August, President Barack Obama signed into law the SPEECH Act.  The new law, quickly passed by the House of Representatives and Senate, prevents foreign libel judgments from being upheld in the U.S. if the ruling would conflict with U.S. law. StinkyJournalism wrote about the SPEECH Act when Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) and Jeff Sessions... ...

Protection Against Libel Actions Overseas

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Anchor Katy Clark speaks with writer Rachel Ehrenfeld about a new US law that protects US authors found guilty of libel in overseas courts. Listen to the interview...

Shutting The Door On 'Libel Tourists'

Friday, August 13th, 2010

ACCORDING TO the libel laws of some nations, even the truth is no defense. In 1959, Liberace sued London’s Daily Mirror for libel after one of its columnists referred to him as “fruit-flavoured” — and won. (“I cried,” he said, “all the way to the bank.”) In many countries, libel... ...

Obama's Curious Silence

Friday, August 13th, 2010

On August 10, President Obama signed into law HR2765 entitled “Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage Act.”  This Act received unanimous approval in both the House and the Senate.  In the latter case, before being sent to the President for signature, it received the unanimous and... ...

She Fought The System And Won

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

After a hard-fought battle to ensure the protection of American authors and publishers from extortionate foreign libel judgments, one New York-based scholar and researcher has secured the passage of the first law to achieve unanimous Congressional support this term. Initated and promoted by Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, the Securing the Protection... ...

New Law Protects Free Speech From Foreign Courts

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

A bill to protect authors, journalists, and publishers from “libel tourism” recently passed both houses of Congress. The bill, known as the SPEECH Act, prevents lawsuits brought against American writers in foreign courts from limiting free speech in America. The Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage... ...

Protecting American Free Speech

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Although Washington is often mired in partisan political battles, there are some issues on which Democrats and Republicans in Congress can agree — and where they can work together in unison. One of these is our nation’s tradition of freedom of speech. Thanks to strong, bipartisan cooperation, an important bill... ...

English Libel Law

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

England’s libel law is supposed to protect reputations. But its own good name is taking a terrible battering. Already under attack from British campaigners who argue that it unduly suppresses free speech, it took a blow in the US last week. The House of Representatives passed a bill declaring English... ...

Bill Takes On 'Libel Tourism'

Friday, July 30th, 2010

U.S. legislation limits suits on 1st Amendment grounds “Libel tourism” sounds like it refers to something like an egregious defamation of the Queen Mary II, but in the eyes of Congress, it is a First Amendment threat. It was a problem deemed urgent enough for lawmakers to recently pass, by... ...

Us Law To Counter 'Libel Tourism' In British Courts

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

The US has passed a bill to protect American writers and authors from “libel tourism” in British courts by decreeing that foreign libel judgments are not enforceable in the United States. The move came after years of bewilderment with what are regarded as draconian UK libel laws that saw a string of... ...

Limiting 'Libel Tourism'

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Rachel Ehrenfeld has led a campaign to protect authors sued for libel in countries where freedom-of-speech protections are not as strong as those in the U.S. It’s called “libel tourism” — the practice of bringing a defamation lawsuit against an author or publisher in a country with less robust protections... ...

A Victory For Writing

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

It is a rare achievement these days for the Senate to pass anything of real substance by a unanimous vote. But an important bill that protects Americans from the whims of foreign libel judgments was passed earlier this week by unanimous consent. Once it passes the House and is signed... ...

NYT Columnist Faces Civil And Criminal Charges, But New Law May Get Him Off The Hook

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

New York Times writer Joe Sharkey insists that he never called the country of Brazil “Most idiot of all Idiots.” Nor did he call the nation a “banana.” But, it is no laughing matter to Sharkey, a long-time, highly influential columnist for the New York Times. Nor to other writers. With... ...

Speech Act Passes U.S. Senate By Unanimous Consent

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed – and How to Stop It, and founder of the movement against libel tourism, praised the United States Senate for passing the Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage Act, HR 2765 (as amended by the... ...

Pass The ‘Speech’ Act Now

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Like resistant new strains of virus or bacteria, new threats to free expression in the U.S. appear from time to time.  One such new threat is foreign libel litigation.  In recent years, American writers and publishers have increasingly found themselves named as defendants in libel suits in countries lacking our First Amendment... ...

Abroad, Any Us Citizen Is Liable To Get Sued For Libel

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

IMAGINE THAT you, an American citizen, were asked for your views about a prominent American public figure by a California website. You responded and found yourself sued for libel by your fellow citizen not in the United States but in England and judged under a legal regime that not only... ...

Libel On Tour

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Within minutes Monday a legislative committee repudiated both Islamic and British law. Neither, perhaps, represents an immediate threat to justice in Louisiana, but it was not entirely an alarmist and xenophobic stunt when the committee approved two bills by Rep. Ernest Wooton, R-Belle Chase. Mostly, but not entirely. One of... ...

Libel Law: Agog At The Gag

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Protesters outside the offices of Carter-Ruck, the London law firm that last year obtained a superinjunction for Trafigura, an oil trading company When Peter Carter-Ruck, Britain’s most famous libel lawyer, died in 2003, it was as if an era had ended. He “had a chilling effect on the media,” David... ...

Foreign-Based Lawsuits Prompt England To Rethink Libel Laws

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

LONDON — Amid growing concerns that England’s tough libel laws stifle free speech, a parliamentary committee on Wednesday will recommend broad changes that would make it harder to bring lawsuits and prevent foreigners from using English courts for defamation cases. Over the years, England has attracted waves of aggrieved plaintiffs,... ...

Senate Committee Debates Libel Tourism Law

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

The Senate Judiciary Committee in a hearing Tuesday morning voiced support for legislation that would attempt to deter foreign libel lawsuits against American authors and publishers but left the door open to further negotiation about specific legislative action. Because other countries do not have the strong speech protections of the... ...

Libel Tourists Will Love The Tales Of Lord Hoffmann

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

If you want to see hypocrisy in action, look at England’s libel courts. I warned during the rage against Blair and Bush that liberals were playing into the hands of reactionaries. Unintentionally or not, their depiction of a desire to democratise the Middle East as a neocon swindle provided every... ...

Let Battle Commence Over Privacy

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

John Terry’s is only the latest attempt to suppress free speech for financial reasons This was the week that the legal establishment bit back. For three months since Index on Censorship published its Libel Reform campaign in coalition with like-minded organisations, we’ve had pretty much an open field. The evidence... ...

Taking Away The Welcome Mat

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

MOST tourists come to Britain for the palaces, the pubs and the history. But a few come to take advantage of England’s ferociously claimant-friendly libel laws (Scotland’s are different). A string of cases in which plaintiffs with tenuous links to England have taken advantage of these rules has fuelled worries... ...

Saudi Billionaire's Libel Legacy

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Have you heard? England may be shutting itself to tourists. Not the camera-toting, Big Ben-gawking, bus-riding sort of course, but a different, more controversial subset of regular visitors ignominiously labeled “libel tourists.” Lured by London’s archaic libel law- where the burden of proof rests on the defendant- non-British citizens have... ...

"A Town Called Sue": England Weighing Changes To Libel Law

Friday, December 11th, 2009

This term “libel tourism” has been kicking around for some time now. It refers to the practice of filing libel suits not necessarily in one’s home country, but in jurisdictions in which the laws on libel are more plaintiff friendly. For years, the preferred destination for such tourism has been... ...

Britain, Long A Libel Mecca, Reviews Laws

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

LONDON – England has long been a mecca for aggrieved people from around the world who want to sue for libel. Russian oligarchs, Saudi businessmen, multinational corporations, American celebrities – all have made their way to London’s courts, where jurisdiction is easy to obtain and libel laws are heavily weighted... ...

Could London Lose 'Libel Capital Of The World' Crown?

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

LONDON — The world’s rich and powerful have long chosen London to defend their interests in court, but pressure is mounting for an overhaul in the English laws that saw it named “libel capital of the world”. Lawyers, freedom of speech campaigners and even members of the government are questioning... ...

Stop Allowing England's Libel Courts To Be Used By The Rich And Powerful To Stifle Free Speech

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

They call it the ‘small penis’ rule. Faced with the risk of libel actions, novelists endow any objectionable male character with a remarkably small penis. What man would claim in court that such a character was based on him? This strategy is all very well for novelists, but it doesn’t... ...

Don't Make Libel Law "Fairer:" Make It History

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

If we are serious about defending freedom of speech, then English libel should be sentenced to death. A pledge to end ‘libel tourism’; an admission that the English libel laws are having ‘chilling effects’ on free speech; a promise to introduce wholesale libel reform in the name of protecting open... ...

It's Official – London Is The Libel Capital Of The World

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Libel tourism is flourishing and London is the hottest destination. Its reputation as libel capital of the world has just been confirmed by figures that show that the number of defamation actions started last year was the highest for five years. The number of cases lodged in the High Court... ...

Jack Straw Pledges Action To End Libel Tourism

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

JACK STRAW is preparing to draw up proposals for wholesale reform of England’s libel laws, after a long-running Sunday Times campaign. The justice secretary says the large legal fees involved in defamation cases in English courts are jeopardising freedom of speech, potentially curbing vital debate by scientists, academics and journalists.... ...

Congress: Protect American Writers And Publishers From Being Sued Overseas

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Picture this scenario: you’re an American author who’s written a well-researched, well-documented book on a topic of broad public interest. Your book’s been published in the United States for an American audience. Someone who’s mentioned in the book doesn’t like what you’ve written and sues you for libel, but he... ...

Free Speech Protection Act Could Slow 'Libel Tourism'

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Free press advocates in Britain are looking to a bill stuck in the U.S. Congress for moral support in the fight to reform England’s draconian defamation laws. The U.S. bill, the Free Speech Protection Act 2009, is itself the product of those laws, which have made London the capital of... ...

Rotten Laws That Strangle Free Speech

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Imagine a country in which citizens are barred from reading American newspapers and books and from accessing international websites. Scientists and writers are hauled before the courts and threatened with massive damages even if their supposed crime was committed elsewhere and even if they were expressing legitimate views. It sounds... ...

Our Libel Laws Shame Us

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

The fact that England has become an international centre for libel litigation underlines the need for urgent reform There has never been such momentum for reforming English libel law. The impetus has come, to our shame, from overseas. Neither our own legislators or even our leading media organisations have, until now,... ...

The Laws That Stain Britain's Good Name

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Libel tourism isn’t just a matter for the media elite. Freedom of speech for everyone is in danger. Britain is a pariah state, shunned by its allies and exploited by the unsavoury. The state of English libel laws (Scotland’s provisions are a little better) is so embarrassing that a number... ...

Freedom Of Speech Under Attack In The U.S. As Well

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Dr. Ehrenfeld: Free speech is a constitutional right in the U.S. but foreign libel judgments are threatening it. “Let’s protect ourselves.” Vrijheid van meningsuiting ook in VS onder vuur ACHTERGROND, Van onze correspondent Diederik van Hoogstraten Gepubliceerd op 29 oktober 2009 22:51, bijgewerkt op 22:55 WASHINGTON – De vrije meningsuiting... ...

Judge Attacks Stifling Of Free Speech And 'Libel Tourism'

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Demand: Lord Chief Justice calls for new laws to rein in the powers of judges in libel cases The Lord Chief Justice yesterday delivered a sharp warning to judges not to trespass on the freedoms of Parliament. ᅠ Lord Judge, who acts as the figurehead for the judiciary, said it was... ...

How Our Senior Libel Judge Stamps On Free Speech All Over The World

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Mr. Justice Eady’s rulings amplify the democratic world’s most illiberal laws enabled by 12 years of utterly feeble leadership. Trafigura’s super-injunction is weird for lots of reasons. But the strangest fact is this: it has nothing to do with the Honourable Mr Justice Eady. The company’s lawyers injuncted the Guardian, injuncted... ...

California Bans British 'Libel Tourism'

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California, has brought in laws to deter celebrities and businessmen travelling to Britain to sue American-based publications in what has become known as libel tourism. The new measures, personally signed off by Mr Schwarzenegger this week, will make judgments won against US magazines and newspapers... ...

California The Latest State To Pass A Law Opposing British Libel Judgments

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

The governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, yesterday signed a law that will allow the state’s courts to refuse to enforce British libel judgments. It effectively negates the practice of libel tourism. It is symbolic of the growing opposition in the States to Britain’s libel laws, which are in conflict with... ...

Barbra Streisand Strikes Again

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Press freedom and the internet: A gagging order backfires THIS week a national newspaper ran a fascinating story about absolutely nothing. The Guardian reported on its front page on October 13th that a question had been tabled by an MP in Parliament, but that the newspaper could not reveal “who... ...

Arnold Schwarzenegger Gets Tough Over Libel Tourists To The Uk

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

The state of California yesterday banned libel tourism in an effort to resist the influence of British judges. Its governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law which will allow its courts to refuse to enforce libel judgments handed down in London. He acted following alarm in the U.S. that powerful individuals... ...

Protect Our Free Speech Abroad

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Americans are being sued for libel in countries whose laws are inconsistent with free speech granted by the U.S. Constitution. The Free Speech Protection Act of 2009 (S.449) was introduced in February 2009 in response to cases such as that of Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld’s, an academic who writes on terrorism.... ...

Free Speech Under Foreign Assault

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Does the United States Constitution protect the freedom of speech of American citizens, or does it not? In this era of globalization, the answer is becoming increasingly muddled. Thursday, an American citizen, Paul Williams, went on trial in Canada. He is charged with violating Canadian libel laws in charges he... ...

You Won’t Read All About It

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Left: “Contempt of Court” by H.M. Bateman, 1916 Readers had to stare hard at the front page of The Times of 7 May 1966 to learn that the most gruesome murder trial of the decade was over. The lead story was a less-than-gripping piece about Roy Jenkins, the then Home... ...

Anti-Free Speech? UK Courts Can Help

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Libel tourism is rife in our courts ヨ and the UK legal system is becoming utterly discredited abroad as result. While various campaigning groups spring up left, right and centre with the aim of reforming Britain’s mangled political system, it seems that our friends abroad have already grown tired of... ...

Through The Looking Glass

Monday, June 15th, 2009

English libel law turns US protection for free speech on its head. Floyd Abrams considers how the UK became an international libel capital English defamation law is under fire. Last July, the United Nations Human Rights Committee expressed “concern” that English libel law had “served to discourage critical media reporting... ...

Destination Libel

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Is the fear of legal action creating a chilling effect for investigative journalism? Campaigners want British laws changed so libel tourists stay away The following correction was printed in the Guardian’s Corrections and clarifications column, Tuesday 16 June 2009. John Kampfner is the chief executive of the freedom of expression... ...

The AAP Pushes For Expansion Of "Libel Tourism" Legislation

Monday, June 15th, 2009

The Association of American Publishers sent a letter to Congress last week expressing the associationメs concern that current legislation designed to protect authors and publishers against libel tourism “does not go far enough.” According to the letter, the new bill, H.R. 2765, fails to provide publishers and authors with a... ...

The New Presumption Of Transparency

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

During the Cold War, the joke went that an American explained to a Russian that, in the U.S., anyone could stand in front of the White House and criticize the president. The Russian shrugged and said anyone could stand at the gates of the Kremlin and criticize the American president,... ...

Protect Freedom Of Information

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

The digital age has made mountains of information available. It should make important reporting more available, too, but because of some recent developments in libel law, that is not necessarily the case. While freedom of the press remains strong in the U.S., where it is guaranteed in the Constitution, it... ...

U.K. Libel Laws Chill Another American Book

Monday, June 8th, 2009

The most recent casualties of Britain’s pernicious libel laws are New York-based best-selling author Michael Gross and his intriguing and well-researched book Rogues Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and the Money That Made the Metropolitan Museum. It was published in May by Broadway Books, an imprint of Crown,... ...

Uk Faces Backlash Over ‘Libel Tourists’

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

US politicians try to protect citizens from British court, claiming foreigners use law to bring expensive defamation cases  American politicians are pushing through free speech laws to protect US citizens from libel rulings in British courts that have been accused of stifling criticism of oligarchs and dictators. The development follows... ...

Britain Chills Free Speech

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Libel tourists flock to the U.K. to avoid public scrutiny. Simon Singh is an award-winning British science writer. In the best-selling “Fermat’s Enigma,” for example, he described the 350-year quest for the proof of Pierre de Fermat’s last theorem, which eluded mathematicians until the 1990s. Now his inquiring mind has... ...

Libel Tourism

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

American law, with its strong First Amendment traditions, makes it hard to sue authors for libel. To get around these protections, book subjects have been suing American authors in England, where the libel law is much less writer-friendly. Two states – New York and Illinois – have already adopted laws... ...

Unlikely Allies Say U.K. Libel Laws Limit Speech

Monday, May 25th, 2009

PARIS – The American Civil Liberties Union may not often see eye-to-eye with the American Center for Democracy, a research group with neoconservative credentials. But the two organizations are united on at least one thing: their distaste for British libel laws, which they say are being exploited to suppress free... ...

Combating Libel Lawfare

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

It has become fashionable in Washington to speak of “false choices” – “the false choice between our values and our security” or “the false choice between our liberties and our national defense,” for example. Apparently, we don’t need to make these choices. I often wonder, while standing in the body-search... ...

Libel Tourism Bill Passed By [NJ] Senate Committee

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Another bill would strike statute of limitations for survivor lawsuits following homicides. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday recommended passage of a bill that would make it more difficult for foreign plaintiffs to collect on libel judgments originating from courts overseas. The bill, S-1643 , sponsored by Sen. Loretta Weinberg,... ...

‘Libel Tourism’ Bill Passes State Senate

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

(05-14) 18:12 PDT — Legislation designed to thwart “libel tourism” – the practice of trying to silence one’s critics by suing them in England, where defamation is easier to prove than in the United States – cleared the state Senate without a dissenting vote today. The bill, prompted by the... ...

Fighting Back: Libel: It’s What You Say And When And Where You Say It

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Seattle, WV (Special to HNN) – If you can’t get a publication or media organization to correct or retract a defamatory or malicious statement, then the only alternative may be litigation. Chances of winning in court depend where you sue and where you live. Courts in the U.S. require the... ...

California Moves To End Libel Tourism

Monday, May 4th, 2009

“For far too long London has been the libel capital of the world,” says Mark Stephens, a London lawyer. A bill passing through the Californian legislature is the latest attempt in the US to outlaw so-called libel tourism, where plaintiffs come to England and Wales to sue writers who do... ...

Uk Libel Chills Media Investigations

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Why is there so little media investigation of the financing behind Barack Obama’s early political sponsor – and now convicted felon – Tony Rezko? The dual US-Syrian citizen Rezko–who assisted Obama in the purchase of his Chicago mansion–was heavily funded by loans from Iraqi-British ex-Baathist billionaire Nadhmi Auchi. According to... ...

Move To Control Costs In Defamation Cases (UK)

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Plans to control defamation proceedings costs were announced by the Government today, as concerns were raised that not enough has been done to protect the media’s freedom of expression. Justice minister Bridget Prentice said that excessive costs and even the threat of them may force defendants to settle unwarranted claims.... ...

The Terror Spectator: Tourist Trap

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Meet Khalid bin Mahfouz, libel tourist. This rich Saudi didn’t like what Rachel Ehrenfeld wrote about him in her 2003 book Funding Terrorism, so he sued her. She heads a small New York City-based think tank dedicated to uncovering the sources of funds for radical Islamist terrorists. In the book... ...

Beating The Press In The Globalized Age

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Sometimes it seems that globalization, like some medieval king, has given the world many more unintended offspring than rightful heirs. Miseries are globalized, too. Case in point: The U.S. practice known among lawyers as forum shopping. That’s when your attorney files your suit in a courthouse where the law and... ...

Libel Over There — And Over Here

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Some public figures are using England’s plaintiff-friendly laws to go after books they don’t like. New York and Illinois have come to the defense of U.S. writers. Congress and California should too. April 9, 2009 Before the American Revolution, a plaintiff could successfully sue a writer for libel even when... ...

Free Speech, Celebrities And Ugly Truths

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

British courts’ plaintiff-friendly libel system strikes at U.S. protections. After taking in a libel law panel the other night in Beverly Hills, I’m ready to stipulate: Nicolas Cage did not steal a Chihuahua. Britney Spears did not make a sex tape. And Cameron Diaz did not snog (translation later) some... ...

Combating Libel Tourism: Federal Efforts Needed By Andrew M. Grossman

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Backgrounder #2244 “Libel tourism” is the exploitation of foreign countries’ permissive libel laws and weak speech protections to circumvent American authors’ First Amendment rights. The technique is particularly favored by those who are linked to terrorist groups and government corruption. By suing in forums such as the United Kingdom, these... ...

Supreme Court Ruling Establishes New Libel Protection

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

In a far-reaching ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada gave its blessing to a new defense against libel that applies to journalists responsibly reporting on stories deemed to be of public interest. The decision is being hailed by free speech advocates as a milestone victory for press freedom in Canada,... ...