The Financial Times today highlights the rising tide of “libel tourism” as foreign businessmen increasingly sue for defamation in British courts rather than their home nations.
The FT cites the case of Ukranian energy tycoon Rinat Akhmetov, the 214th richest billionaire in the world according to the Forbes Rich List, who is just one person to take advantage of our relatively strict libel laws.
In the past year he has sued two Ukranian online journals, Kyiv Post and Obozretvatel, in London.
Though the High Court in theory can only hear cases of libels published in the UK, claimants can sue for online stories if they can prove people in this country read the offending article.
Meanwhile in New York state, legislators passed a “libel terrorism protection act” for writers and journalists who face being bankrupted by judgments passed in other countries – such as England.