Monday, January 10, 2011

Ukraine Media: Libel Tourism in UK not ok

Deep Winter in KievImage by Stuck in Customs via FlickrYou know it's time to revisit your defamation law when a former republic of the U.S.S.R. complains about oppression of press freedom.

The Kyiv Post in the Ukraine has locked out United Kingdom Internet users from its Web site in protest of Great Britain's plaintiff-friendly libel laws, according to the Web site.  The move, according to the paper's editor, is a response to England's "draconian" libel laws that he claims impede independent journalists in the performance of their jobs.

President Obama signed the SPEECH (Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage) Act in August to shield American journalists and authors from the so-called "libel tourism" phenomenon. (See "TUOL" post 8/11.10.). British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg vows to overturn the existing libel laws that he condemned as an  "international embarrassment."  (See "TUOL" post 3/24/10 re: proposed libel reforms.)

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