Todd W. Moore


libel tourists, personal jurisdiction


This Note analyzes the growing trend of “Libel Tourism,” wherein a plaintiff files a defamation lawsuit in a foreign forum primarily to avail himself of its plaintiff-friendly libel laws. Many critics of the practice argue that (1) such claims can effectively circumvent the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and (2) U.S. courts should be able to adjudicate the enforceability of such foreign judgments in the United States. In light of recent legislative developments, this Note focuses with particularity on whether, and in what instances, U.S. courts may assert personal jurisdiction over libel tourists for the purpose of issuing such a declaratory judgment. After examining existing case law and various arguments for and against such a jurisdictional assertion, this Note concludes that new federal legislation allowing personal jurisdiction over libel tourists is both necessary and constitutional.

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