National Press Club

NPC urges Congress for legislation discouraging foreign lawsuits that limit First Amendment rights

March 24, 2010

The National Press Club urged the U.S. Congress to enact legislation that would discourage foreign lawsuits that limit American authors' and journalists' First Amendment rights.

Plaintiffs, through a practice known as "libel tourism," bring lawsuits against Americans in countries that lack adequate free-speech protections. The legislation in Congress discourages the practice by making it clear that foreign libel judgments must meet American defamation standards in order to be recognized in the U.S.

"There is no right more precious to journalists than the ability to write and speak freely," Club President Alan Bjerga said on March 24. "Congress must enact legislation that protects First Amendment rights and tells the world 'libel tourism' is wrong.'"