AJCongress speaks out on ‘libel tourism’


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The American Jewish Congress submitted testimony to Congress on "libel tourism."

The group’s testimony to the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on commercial and administrative law before Thursday’s hearing urges legislative action on the practice of "libel tourism," in which a person claiming to have been defamed files suit in a country whose libel laws are friendlier to plaintiffs than U.S. law.

"We think it unwise for the United States to enact legislation to tell other countries how they balance the conflict between freedom of speech and protecting the interest in reputation in defamation cases involving torts committed in their borders, even where one of the defendants is an American citizen," wrote the organization. "We should, however, insist that our courts will not enforce foreign judgments that are in evident conflict with our national commitment to robust public debate, when those judgments are entered in cases in which those countries have no substantial interest."


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