International Law and Libel Tourism: Where can you be sued for what you say on the internet?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: Lecture: Room 125 and Reception: Room 412

Anything can be published on the Internet. Whether that publication is actionable as defamation depends not on where it was written, but on where it was viewed or “published.” This creates opportunities for “libel tourism,” where plaintiffs alleging defamation can sue anywhere in the world for defamation on the Internet. This implicates many private international law issues for authors, publishers, and persons seeking to protect their reputation around the world.

The United Kingdom was long a focal point for “Libel Tourism” and plaintiffs could sue in English Courts even with only a marginal connection to the forum. The United States responded by enacting state and federal statutes prohibiting enforcement of foreign defamation judgments. The United Kingdom, in turn, began the year with a new Defamation Law to cure perceived abuses of the English court system. Nonetheless, many features of the prior English law continue in other jurisdictions.

The rapid developments in this field of international litigation present important challenges for the electronic communications of individuals and business entities. Can international law be used to protect the reputation of a person or a company? Will other countries recognize or reject defamation judgments? What burden of proof must plaintiffs and defendants satisfy? And can someone really be sued around the world for each new download of a defamatory statement?

Please join the University of Denver Sturm College of Law’s Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law and the International Law Society as we welcome Professor Mark Wojcik of the John Marshall Law School who will discuss this cutting edge area of transnational litigation.

Please contact Karlyn Shorb at or call at 303-871-6655 for further information. Please register here.


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