Posts Tagged ‘georgia graham’

October 2013

Judges dismiss wealthy foreigners’ libel cases

Daily Telegraph

Lawyers have proclaimed the “death knell” of libel tourism after High Court judges threw out two cases brought by wealthy foreigners concerning claims published abroad.

London has been named “the libel capital of the world” due to the number of claims brought by foreign nationals complaining about allegations in non-British publications that have been viewed just a handful of times in the UK.

But two rulings have led lawyers to suggest that judges are seeking to curb such a use of the English courts.

One of the libel claims was brought by a Serbian tobacco distributor, Stanko Subotic. He brought the case over allegations published outside the UK and written in Serbian and Montenegrin, which suggested that he was a criminal mastermind linked to murder.

Mr Justice Dingemans threw out the case, describing the two-year libel claim as an “abuse of process”.
Mr Justice Dingemans rejected Mr Subotic’s claim because the articles had been read by very few people in the UK, adding that it “really has nothing to do with his reputation in England and Wales and everything to do with his reputation in the Balkans”.

The judge said that dismissing a libel case as an abuse of process was a “draconian” step used only in exceptional circumstances. However, he said that allowing the case to proceed risked “disproportionate and unnecessary interference with freedom of expression”.

Mr Subotic was attempting to use London’s High Court to sue Ratko Knezevic, a former Montenegrin trade official, over allegations that appeared in five Serbian or Montenegrin-language publications. Hard copies were not officially circulated in England and Wales.

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