State of California approves bill to thwart libel tourism

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The Californian state senate last night passed a law designed to stop “libel tourism” – where Americans can be sued for defamation in Britain.

The law allows a California court to only enforce a foreign libel damages award if it came from a country that offers the same protection to defendants as that offered in the US.

Thomas Newton, a lawyer for the California Newspaper Publishers Association, told the San Francisco Chronicle: “Britain has become a mecca for mostly rich folks who can litigate there to obtain judgments for bad things people say about them in California or anywhere else.”

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