More Worries About UK Libel Laws Leading To 'Defamation Tourism'

from the this-should-be-fixed dept

For years, we've talked about how the significantly lower barrier to showing libel in the UK (and the higher damages) have resulted in people suing for libel in the UK for online content, even if there's no connection (at all) to the UK. Yes, there have been cases where people outside the UK have sued in the UK over content that was written, published and hosted outside of the UK (and targeted at a non-UK audience) just because of the nature of UK libel laws. Slashdot points out that this is raising concerns of an increasing number of "defamation tourism" cases in the UK, noting that such lawsuits have become "one of the UK's growing export industries." This shouldn't be seen as a good thing.

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  1. identicon
    mkvf, 2 Apr 2009 @ 1:36am

    What are you waffling on about AC? Anything specifically about the post? Really makes me want to put my red coat on and go burn some villages...

    Anyway, on point and as I commented here a couple of days ago, UK libel laws are atrocious. The question is, what can other countries do about them? Certainly laws that allow victims of libel tourism to countersue in local courts are a start.

    I wonder if something like the WTO could be used to force Westminster to amend English law. After all, these laws are effectively a barrier to the export of US publications to the UK. Could the US impose some sort of tariff on UK publishers selling books in the UK? Or could US and other politicians do more to use the UN to shame England into amending these laws?

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