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ERIC Number: EJ805411
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul-4
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
"Libel Tourism" Puts British and American Defamation Standards in the Spotlight
Howard, Jennifer
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n43 pA9 Jul 2008
This article reports on the College Art Association's decision to settle with a scholar who felt defamed by an article in one of its scholarly journals which shines a spotlight on so-called "libel tourism." When the College Art Association decided recently to settle rather than fight a possible libel action in Britain over a book review published in one of its journals, it reminded American authors and publishers how wide a gulf separates the United States--where First Amendment protections and jurisprudence make libel difficult to prove--from most of the rest of the world, where the protection of reputations and public sensibilities trumps the right to say what one pleases. The fracas comes also at a time when Congress and various states are enacting or contemplating legislation that would protect American writers and publishers from foreign libel judgments. The recent controversy centered on a review in the fall 2007 issue of "Art Journal," which is published by the association. The review was written by Joseph A. Massad, an associate professor of Arab politics in the department of Middle East and Asian languages and culture at Columbia University. Gannit Ankori, chair of the art-history department at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, considered the review defamatory and consulted British lawyers, who contacted the association. Ms. Ankori's decision to explore legal action in Britain is known in some circles as "libel tourism" or "forum shopping," in which plaintiffs seek out jurisdictions where the burden of proof falls on the defendant.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Great Britain); United States