2015 | 22 | 1 |
Article title

Libel tourism in the context of press freedom

Title variants
Languages of publication
The phrase ‘libel tourism’ appeared for the first time in 1990, when a Hollywood star ArnoldSchwarzenegger sued American author Wendy Leigh for his unauthorized biography in an English court[Rayner 2010; Sanchez 2011]. A number of recent cases included wealthy libel tourists such as NicoleKidman, David Hasselhoff, Roman Polański, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Britney Spears, Tiger Woodsand Cameron Diaz. Since 2005, the number of libel actions in the High Court has doubled, and in 2009, therewere 219 defamation cases issued; 34 of them were identified as having a “foreign connection” [Ministryof Justice, Report of the Libel Working Group]. In a short time, the widespread opinion has appeared thatLondon has become the “Libel Capital of the World” [London “The Times”, Be Reasonable; Carvajal,Britain, a Destination for ‘Libel Tourism’]. Through an extensive review of relevant case law and studiesI would like to draw attention to the problem of libel tourism which creates a chilling effect on press freedom.
Physical description
  • Abrams, F. 2009. Through the Looking Glass, “Index on Censorship for Free Expression”, (access 06.11.2011).
  • Bennett, W. 2010. The Current State of Defamation Law In England and Wales, January, (access 06.11.2011).
  • Be Reasonable, London “The Times” May 2005, (access 06.11.2011).
  • Bin Mahfouz Information (N.D.), (access 05.02.2012).
  • Carvajal, D. 2010. Britain, a destination for ‘libel tourism’, “The New York Times”, (access 14.12.2010).
  • Clegg, N. 2011. Restoring British liberties, “Liberal Democrats”, (access 25.03.2011).
  • CNN Larry King Live, 2002., (access 12.03.2012).
  • Collier, J. G. 2001. Conflict of Laws, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 3.
  • Conzes, C. 2005. Polanski wins libel case against Vanity Fair, “The Guardian”, (access 14.12.2010).
  • Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c.41), “” (N.D.), (access 05.02.2012).
  • Dunlop, R. (N.D.). Case analysis: Article 10, the Reynolds Test and the Rule in the Duke of Brunswick’s case: the decision in Times Newspaper Ltd v the United Kingdom, (access 06.11.2011).
  • EC Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters, 1968, European Union (N.D.), (access 15.03.2012).
  • Godfather of the Kremlin?, “Forbes” December 1996, (access 07.11.2011).
  • Greenslade, R. 2009. The meaning of ‘fruit’: how the Daily Mirror libeled Liberace, “Daily Mirror”, (access 14.12.2010).
  • House of Commons. Culture, Media and Sport Committee, 2010. Press standards, privacy and libel, Second Report of Session 2009–10, (access 06.11.2011).
  • House of Commons, Parliament UK, 2010. Defamation Bill [HL], (access 05.02.2012).
  • Index on Censorship/English Pen, 2009. Parliamentary briefing: free speech libel law and super-injunctions, (access 06.11.2011).
  • Libel Law Reform Campaign (N.D.), (access 12.03.2012).
  • Libel Reform Campaign, (N.D.). Reforming libel. What must a Defamation Bill achieve?, (access 05.02.2012).
  • McAthy, R. 2010. Government to lead libel reform with new Defamation Bill, “”, (access 15.12.2010).
  • Ministry of Justice, 2011. Draft Defamation Bill: Consultation Paper CP3/11, “”, (access 05.02.2012).
  • Ministry of Justice, 2010. Report of the Libel Working Group, “”, (access 02.02.2010).
  • Owen, R. 2001. Essential Tort Law, Routledge-Cavendish, London, p. 130.
  • Parliament UK, 2009. Memorandum, (access 16.01.2012).
  • Partlett, D., McDonald, B. 2011. International publications and protection of reputation: a margin of appreciation but not subservience? “Alabama Law Review”, vol. 62(3),
  • pdf (access 20.02.2012).
  • Rayner, G. 2010. How libel tourism became an ‘embarrassment’ to Britain’s reputation. “The Telegraph”, (access 11.12.2010).
  • Sanchez, T. 2011. London, Libel Capital No Longer?: The Draft Defamation Act 2011 and the Future of Libel Tourism, University of New Hampshire Law Review, vol. 9(3), (access 04.02.2012).
  • Schauer, F. 1978. Fear, Risk and the First Amendment: Unraveling the Chilling Effect, “Faculty Publications”, (access 25.02.2012).
  • Shapiro, F. R. 2006. The Yale Book of Quotations, Yale University Press, p. 102.
  • Slapper, G., Kelly, D. 2011. The English legal system 2011–2012, 12th edition, Routledge-Cavendish, London, p. 491.
  • Smet, S. 2010. Freedom of Expression and the Right to Reputation: Human Rights in Conflict, “American University International Law Review”, vol. 26(1), pp. 183–236.
  • Staveley-O’Carroll, S. 2009. Libel tourism laws: spoiling the holiday and saving the first amendment?, “New York University Journal of Law & Liberty”, vol. 4, p. 252, (access 04.02.2012).
  • Sutter, G. 2009. Defamation, [in:] Media Law and Practice, D. Goldberg, G. Sutter and I. Walden (eds.), Oxford University Press, Oxford. p. 491.
  • Taylor, D. C. 2010. Libel tourism: Protecting Authors and Preserving Comity, “The Georgetown Law Journal”, vol. 99, p. 189, (access 06.11.2011).
  • The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (c. 25), “” (N.D.), (access 05.01.2012).
  • U.S. Congress 2010. Securing the Protection of Our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage Act, Pub. L. No. 111-223, 124 Stat. 2380, 2380, (access 02.02.2012).
  • Watrous, G. D. 1899. The Newspaper Before the Law, Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 3983, (access 06.11.2011).
  • White, A. 2008. To tell you the truth: the Ethical Journalism Initiative, International Federation of Journalists, Brussels, p. 134.
  • Williams, A. 1997. England and Wales, [in:] International Media Liability: Civil Liability in the Information Age, Christian Campbell (ed.), John Wiley & Sons, p. 107.
  • Windon, J. 2010. Fee Shifting in Libel Litigation: How the American Approach to Costs Allocation Inhibits the Achievement of Libel Law’s Substantive Goals, “J. Int’l Media & Entertainment Law”, vol. 3(1), (access 06.11.2011).
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.