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Town Square

Corbett introduces anti-Libel Tourism bill

Original post made by Jeb Bing, editor of the Pleasanton Weekly, on Mar 10, 2009

We don’t normally pay much attention to libel laws affecting newspaper reporters because U.S. law and the courts are generally protective of the rights of journalists to responsibly cover the news. But other countries are not so protective, so I applaud State Senate Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) who has introduced legislation to combat libel tourism. Sponsored by the California Newspaper Publishers Association, her SB 320 would prohibit state courts from recognizing 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 offered by the First Amendment and California Constitution.

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