Tuesday, April 28, 2009

California Anti-Libel Tourism Act

While the Free Speech Protection Act languishes in Washington, the judicial committee of the California state senate just approved by 5-0 a bill to protect California authors and publishers from libel tourism judgments.

The Anti-Libel Tourism Act would prohibit California courts from enforcing a defamation judgment obtained in a foreign jurisdiction, unless the court determines the defamation law applied in the case provided at least as much protection for freedom of expression as that offered by the U.S. and California Constitutions. See this earlier entry for background on the U.S. bill, and this one for background on the lawsuit against Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld which focused attention on this problem.

New York State and Illinois have already adopted similar legislation.

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