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Britain, Long a Libel Mecca, Reviews Laws
by Sarah Lyall
England has long been a mecca for aggrieved people from around the world who want to sue for libel. Russian oligarchs, Saudi businessmen, multinational corporations, American celebrities — all have made their way to London's courts, where jurisdiction is easy to obtain and libel laws are heavily weighted in favor of complainants.
Embarrassed by London's reputation as "a town called sue" and by unusually stinging criticisms in American courts and legislatures, British lawmakers are seriously considering rewriting England's 19th-century libel laws.
A member of the House of Lords is preparing a bill that would, among other things, require foreigners to demonstrate that they have suffered actual harm in England before they can sue here.
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