PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS

The SPEECH Act defends the First Amendment and serves as a targeted response to Libel Tourism

Issue
Legal Framework
Political Positions

Political Positions

Introduction

  • Inside the United States, it seems that the response to the SPEECH Act is overwhelmingly positive. Abroad, the view is more divided. Many European commentaries state that while they oppose the U.S. imposing its laws on European judgments, those countries’ libel regimes are outdated, and SPEECH Act-like protetionsim may help to faciliate domestic libel reform.

National position in development

  • S. commentators generally support the Act. Supporters view libel tourism as a foreign imposition on American freedom of expression. As global media consumption increasingly becomes the norm, many Americans see the Act as a protector against Americans’ freedom of speech that reaches foreign audiences. Act supporters believe the Act creates a safe harbor for journalists and authors who were increasingly facing exposure to overseas libel suits.

Reading suggestions

Responses

The SPEECH Act is a necessary protection against libel tourism.
Marissa Gerny

The SPEECH Act is deeply flawed in imposing the United States' constitutional interpretation of freedom of speech and subsequent libel actions on other countries trying to bring and enforce claims in US Courts.
Mark D. Rosen

Comments on this Issue or One of the Responses