Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Scholarly Libel Battle Waged in French Court

Little ProfessorImage by unloveablesteve via Flickr
Authors are lovingly protective of their works and have been known to refer to books they pen as their children, but Dr. Karin Calvo-Goller is taking the protective mother cliche to new heights concerning her work, The Trial Proceedings of the International Criminal Court: ICTY and ICTR Precedents (Brill, 2006), according to a story in The Times Higher Education.

NYU law professor Dr. Joseph Weiler,  editor of the European Journal of International Law, is bearing the brunt of that defensiveness, after he published a negative book review of Dr. Calvo-Goller's work by Prof. Thomas Weigund, dean of the law faculty at the Univ. of Cologne, on Global Law Books, an associated Web site.  Dr. Calvo-Goller, a senior lecturer at the Academic Centre of Law and Business in Israel, demanded that Dr. Weiler remove the uncomplimentary review, which she claimed was defamatory and harmful to her professional reputation and academic promotion, and even provided Dr. Weiler with a positive review of her book.  Dr. Weiler refused to remove Prof. Weigund's unflattering review, but offered the disgruntled author an opportunity to publish a response to Prof. Weigund's review.

Dr. Calvo-Goller has filed a criminal libel complaint against Dr. Weiler in a French court. Dr. Weiler, faced with the substantial cost of defending the action, has asked for "moral and material assistance" from the academic community. He also has invited readers to send him examples of negative book reviews that would make Dr. Weigund's effort look like a lovefest.

The tireless staff at "TUOL" recognizes that when two legal academics go to war in a courtroom, the general public's initial reaction is similar to that of watching a  televised debate of vice-presidential candidates: "Can't they both lose?" Nevertheless, the case at issue, beyond raising issues of academic freedom and Internet free speech, gives "TUOL" the opportunity to offer in contrast, a favorite decision involving battling academics by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Dilworth v. Dudley, (75 F.3d 307 (7th Cir. 1995)).

Prof. Underwood Dudley, who taught mathematics at DePauw University, wrote a book published by the Mathematical Association of America. In the text, Prof. Dudley referred to an article entitled "A Correction in Set Theory," written by engineer William Dilworth. Prof. Dudley was critical of Dilworth's work, calling him a "crank."

Dilworth sued Dudley for defamation.  The appellate court ruled that the term "crank" was not susceptible to a defamatory meaning, and was merely an example of hyperbole.  In other words, Dudley prevailed under the libel defense of fair comment & criticism, which protects the critic provided the negative review doesn't imply the exsitence of undisclosed damaging information that formed the basis for the negative opinion.  As libel involves an action to protect one's reputation against false statements, opinions by their very nature are neither true nor false.

But that's not the reason the devoted crew at "TUOL" loves the Dilworth case.  In its opinion, the 7th Circuit offered examples of statements that could not legally be deemed libelous, including the following statement that "TUOL" has been aching for years to use in a letter, article or legal brief.  Rest assured, dear readers, that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will protect you against a defamation claim if you call someone a "lazy, stupid, crap-shooting, chicken-stealing idiot."

Time will tell whether the French court concludes that Dr. Calvo-Goller did herself more harm than did the tandem of Drs. Weigund and Weiler.

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  1. I, on the other hand, have been aching for years to read a decision that uses the names, "Underwood Dudley" and "Dilworth." Thanks.

  2. As a sign the French might view matters differently, in the run-up to the regional elections(14 and 21 March),politicians are suing one another for having pointed out past minor scraps they have had with the law(a matter of public record,of course,but in one instance,youthful hijinks nearly 30 years ago)...

  3. What It’s Like to Chill Out With Whom the World Considers the Most Ruthless Men in the World Ratko Mladic, Radovan Karadzic and Goran Hadzic (+) Confessions of a Female War Crimes Investigator

    Retrospectively, it was all so simple, natural and matter of fact being on a boat restaurant in Belgrade, sitting with, laughing, drinking a two hundred bottle of wine and chatting about war and peace while Ratko Mladic held my hand. Mladic, a man considered the world’s most ruthless war criminal since Adolf Hitler, still at large and currently having a five million dollar bounty on his head for genocide by the international community. Yet there I was with my two best friends at the time, a former Serbian diplomat, his wife, and Ratko Mladic just chilling. There was no security, nothing you’d ordinarily expect in such circumstances. Referring to himself merely as, Sharko; this is the story of it all came about.

    (Read My Entire Book Here For Free Now).

    (Jill Starr's Entire American Expose Including the Secret Scanned Photo Documentary Evidence I Obtained From the CLOSED UN ICC Preparatory Meetings (2001)

    (Jill Starr On Instablogs)

    (Now Everyone Can Purchase My Rare Books)

  4. Irrefutable Proof ICTY Is Corrupt Court/Irrefutable Proof the Hague Court Cannot Legitimately Prosecute Karadzic Case

    (The Documentary Secret United Nations ICC Meeting Papers Scanned Images)

    This legal technicality indicates the Hague must dismiss charges against Dr Karadzic and others awaiting trials in the Hague jail; like it or not.

    Unfortunately for the Signatures Of the Rome Statute United Nations member states instituting the ICC & ICTY housed at the Hague, insofar as the, Radovan Karadzic, as with the other Hague cases awaiting trial there, I personally witnessed these United Nations member states openly speaking about trading judicial appointments and verdicts for financial funding when I attended the 2001 ICC Preparatory Meetings at the UN in Manhattan making the iCTY and ICC morally incapable trying Radovan Karazdic and others.

    I witnessed with my own eyes and ears when attending the 2001 Preparatory Meetings to establish an newly emergent International Criminal Court, the exact caliber of criminal corruption running so very deeply at the Hague, that it was a perfectly viable topic of legitimate conversation in those meetings I attended to debate trading verdicts AND judicial appointments, for monetary funding.

    Jilly wrote:*The rep from Spain became distraught and when her country’s proposal was not taken to well by the chair of the meeting , then Spain argued in a particularly loud and noticably strongly vocal manner, “Spain (my country) strongly believes if we contribute most financial support to the Hague’s highest court, that ought to give us and other countries feeding it financially MORE direct power over its decisions.”

    ((((((((((((((((((((((((( ((((((((((((((((((((((((( Instead of censoring the country representative from Spain for even bringing up this unjust, illegal and unfair judicial idea of bribery for international judicial verdicts and judicial appointments, all country representatives present in the meeting that day all treated the Spain proposition as a ”totally legitimate topic” discussed and debated it between each other for some time. I was quite shocked!
    The idea was "let's discuss it." "It's a great topic to discuss."

    Some countries agreed with Spain’s propositions while others did not. The point here is, bribery for judicial verdicts and judicial appointments was treated as a totally legitimate topic instead of an illegitimate toic which it is in the meeting that I attended in 2001 that day to establish the ground work for a newly emergent international criminal court.))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    In particular., since "Spain" was so overtly unafraid in bringing up this topic of trading financial funding the ICC for influence over its future judicial appointments and verdicts in front of every other UN member state present that day at the UN, "Spain" must have already known by previous experience the topic of bribery was "socially acceptable" for conversation that day. They must have previously spoke about bribing the ICTY and
    ICC before in meetings; this is my take an international sociological honor student. SPAIN's diplomatic gesture of international justice insofar as, Serbia, in all of this is, disgusting morally!

    I represented the state interests' of the Former Yugoslavia, in Darko Trifunovic’s absence in those meetings and I am proud to undertake this effort on Serbia’s behalf.

  5. Also Read This New Article_> (Newly Released U.S. State Dept Documentary Proof That Richard Holbrook Gave Radovan Karadzic Immunity & Assassination Attempts on His Life) ->I don’t think these newly released State Dept. papers come anywhere close to answering Dr. Karadzic’s legal concerns(Read it Here)...