[House Hearing, 111 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
COMMERCIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS
FEBRUARY 12, 2009
Serial No. 111-4
Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
Available via the World Wide Web: http://judiciary.house.gov
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan, Chairman
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California LAMAR SMITH, Texas
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr.,
JERROLD NADLER, New York Wisconsin
ROBERT C. ``BOBBY'' SCOTT, Virginia HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ZOE LOFGREN, California BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas DANIEL E. LUNGREN, California
MAXINE WATERS, California DARRELL E. ISSA, California
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida STEVE KING, Iowa
STEVE COHEN, Tennessee TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
HENRY C. ``HANK'' JOHNSON, Jr., LOUIE GOHMERT, Texas
Georgia JIM JORDAN, Ohio
PEDRO PIERLUISI, Puerto Rico TED POE, Texas
LUIS V. GUTIERREZ, Illinois JASON CHAFFETZ, Utah
BRAD SHERMAN, California TOM ROONEY, Florida
TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin GREGG HARPER, Mississippi
CHARLES A. GONZALEZ, Texas
ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
LINDA T. SANCHEZ, California
DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Florida
DANIEL MAFFEI, New York
Perry Apelbaum, Staff Director and Chief Counsel
Sean McLaughlin, Minority Chief of Staff and General Counsel
Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law
STEVE COHEN, Tennessee, Chairman
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina JIM JORDAN, Ohio
BRAD SHERMAN, California DARRELL E. ISSA, California
DANIEL MAFFEI, New York J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
ZOE LOFGREN, California HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
HENRY C. ``HANK'' JOHNSON, Jr., STEVE KING, Iowa
ROBERT C. ``BOBBY'' SCOTT, Virginia
JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan
Michone Johnson, Chief Counsel
Daniel Flores, Minority Counsel
C O N T E N T S
FEBRUARY 12, 2009
The Honorable Steve Cohen, a Representative in Congress from the
State of Tennessee, and Chairman, Subcommittee on Commercial
and Administrative Law......................................... 1
The Honorable Trent Franks, a Representative in Congress from the
State of Arizona, and Ranking Member, Subcommittee on
Commercial and Administrative Law.............................. 2
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, American Center for Democracy
Oral Testimony................................................. 11
Prepared Statement............................................. 12
Bruce D. Brown, Esq., Baker and Hostetler, LLP
Oral Testimony................................................. 15
Prepared Statement............................................. 17
Laura R. Handman, Esq., Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP
Oral Testimony................................................. 41
Prepared Statement............................................. 44
Ms. Linda J. Silberman, Professor, New York University School of
Oral Testimony................................................. 59
Prepared Statement............................................. 61
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
Prepared Statement of the Honorable John Conyers, Jr., a
Representative in Congress from the State of Michigan,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, and Member, Subcommittee
on Commercial and Administrative Law........................... 5
Prepared Statement of the Honorable Peter King, a Representative
in Congress from the State of New York......................... 6
Material Submitted for the Hearing Record
Material submitted by the Honorable Steve Cohen, a Representative
in Congress from the State of Tennessee, and Chairman,
Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law:
Prepared Statement of the World Press Freedom Committee...... 85
Letter from John J. Walsh, Esq., Carter Ledyard and Milburn
Prepared Statement of the Association of American Publishers. 93
Prepared Statement of the American Civil Liberties Union
Prepared Statement of the American Jewish Congress........... 104
Response to Post-Hearing Questions from Bruce D. Brown, Esq.,
Baker and Hostetler, LLP....................................... 134
Response to Post-Hearing Questions from Laura R. Handman, Esq.,
Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP..................................... 151
Response to Post-Hearing Questions from Linda J. Silberman,
Professor, New York University School of Law................... 167
Material submitted by the Honorable Peter King, a Representative
in Congress from the State of New York:
Prepared Statement of the 9/11 Families for a Secure America. 172
Letter from Patricia S. Schroeder, the Association of
American Publishers, Inc................................... 173
Wall Street Journal article entitled ``Foreign Law and the
First Amendment,'' by Floyd Abrams......................... 174
Letter from Caroline Fredrickson, Director, Washington
Legislative Office, and Michael W. Macleod-Ball, Chief
Legislative and Policy Counsel, the American Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU)..................................... 176
Letter from Abraham H. Foxman, National Director, the Anti-
Defamation League (ADL).................................... 179
Press Release from the American Jewish Congress.............. 180
Letter from Lynne E. Bradley, Director, Government Relations,
the American Library Association (ALA)..................... 183
Letter from Paul B. Jaskot, CAA President and Professor of
Art and Art History, DePaul University, and Linda Downs,
Executive Director, the College Art Association (CAA)...... 185
Prepared Statement of various organizations.................. 187
Article entitled ``It Takes the Marketplace of Ideas to Win
the War of Ideas,'' by Andrew C. McCarthy.................. 189
New York Post article entitled ``Rachel's Law,'' by Samuel A.
Abady and Harvey Silverglate............................... 197
New York Times article entitled `` `Libel Tourism': When
Freedom of Speech Takes a Holiday,'' by Adam Cohen......... 199
Washington Times editorial................................... 201
Prepared Statement of Paul Alan Levy, Public Citizen
Litigation Group, Public Citizen........................... 202
Letter from Eric Rassbach, National Litigation Director, and
L. Bennett Graham, Legislative and International Programs
Officer, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty............. 215
Prepared Statement of Yasmine Lablou......................... 217
Article entitled ``British libel laws: cutting off crucial
information,'' by Richard N. Winfield...................... 229
Letter from John Whittingdale, OBE MP, Chairman, Culture,
Media and Sport Committee, House of Commons................ 232
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2009
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Commercial
and Administrative Law,
Committee on the Judiciary,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 11 a.m., in
room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, the Honorable Steve
Cohen (Chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives Cohen, Johnson, Franks, and Coble.
Staff present: Matthew Wiener, Majority Counsel; Richard
Hertling, Minority Counsel; and Adam Russell, Majority
Mr. Cohen. This hearing of the Committee on the Judiciary,
Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, will now
come to order.
Without objection, the Chair will be authorized to declare
a recess of the hearing, and I suspect I will, as we have a
special program honoring the 16th President of the United
States at about 11:30. So, we are going to break at some point
for that, and then come back and finish up.
I will now recognize myself for a short statement.
Last year, I introduced, and the House passed under
suspension of the rules, H.R. 6146 to protect Americans' first
amendment rights against the threat posed by libel tourism. We
return to that subject matter today.
Libel tourism is the name given to the practice of end
running the first amendment by suing American authors and
publishers for defamation in the courts of certain foreign
countries. These countries have laws that often disfavor speech
critical of public figures, countries with often little or no
connection to the allegedly defamatory statements that gave
rise to the suits.
England has become the favorite destination of libel
tourists from around the world, especially wealthy libel
tourists from countries whose own laws are hostile to free
speech. London has been called the libel capital of the world.
England's otherwise admirable legal system attracts libel
tourists for several reasons. Let me touch on the main one by
way of introduction of the subject of today's hearing.
Our Constitution's first amendment usually requires a
defamation plaintiff to prove the falsity of a challenged
statement. The first amendment is even more demanding when the
defendant is a public figure--The New York Times, et cetera.
The plaintiff must then prove actual malice--prove that the
defendant made the defamatory statement, in the words of the
U.S. Supreme Court, with ``knowledge that it was false or with
reckless disregard as to whether it was false or not.''
Not so under the English defamation laws. Under English
laws, presume the defendant is wrong. It places the burden of
proving the truth of an allegedly defamatory statement onto the
This draconian feature of English law--a long way from the
Magna Carta--has drawn criticism, not only from defenders of
free speech in the U.S., but also from the United Nations, and
even members of the U.K.'s own Parliament.
The threat of English and other foreign defamation suits by
libel tourists has not diminished since we introduced H.R.
6146. If anything, it has grown, and is likely to grow stronger
as the Internet continues to facilitate the free flow of
information across national boundaries.
Today's hearing will give Members of the Subcommittee the
opportunity to address four main issues.
First, what features of some foreign legal systems--
especially England's--attract libel tourists?
Second, how prevalent is libel tourism? Who are the libel
tourists, and who are their American victims?
Third, does libel tourism threaten the first amendment
rights of Americans? And if it does, how and with what effect
on public discourse about important matters of public concern?
And finally, what should Congress do about libel tourism?
As I mentioned in my earlier remarks, we passed this bill
in the House. And the Senate never addressed it.
To help us address these important and timely questions, we
will hear from four distinguished witnesses.
Our first witness will be Rachel Ehrenfeld, an author whose
ordeal with libel tourism has helped bring this issue to the
Then Laura Handman and Bruce Brown, two prominent
Washington media lawyers, who will testify about matters
concerning the threat of libel tourism.
Finally, Professor Linda Silberman of the NYU School of
Law--one of the country's foremost experts on the enforcement
of foreign legal judgments in our courts--will continue our
discussion and hopefully suggest possible next steps.
So, we have comity--not the Bob Hope variety, but the legal
kind--and threats to the first amendment.
Accordingly, I look forward to receiving today's testimony.
And I now recognize my colleague, Mr. Franks, the distinguished
Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, for his opening remarks.
Mr. Franks. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And Mr. Chairman, I sincerely appreciate you conducting
this hearing. This is an important subject.
Libel tourism is a specialized category of international
forum shopping, which is the deliberate selection of a court
that is known to rule favorably on a plaintiff's position. A
typical scenario involves an author who writes a critical news
story about a social or legal problem.
As part of that story, the author exposes the illicit
activity of an individual or group, possibly a person with an
existing public profile--imagine that--seeking retribution
against the author that the person or group files a defamation
lawsuit in a forum known for its weak free speech laws.
The plaintiff in this scenario is not really interested in
obtaining a judgment to collect damages. Instead, the
plaintiff's main goal is to dissuade anyone from researching
and publishing other negative accounts about his or her
One of the witnesses today, Rachel Ehrenfeld, has
experienced this first hand. In her book, ``Funding Evil,'' Ms.
Ehrenfeld indicts the activities of Saudi billionaire, Khalid
bin Mahfouz, for allegedly erecting a bank system and
fraudulent charitable groups that fund the activities of Osama
bin Laden and other terrorists.
Although the book was published in New York, 23 copies were
sold in Great Britain through Amazon.com, and the first chapter
was accessible online internationally. Bin Mahfouz sued Ms.
Ehrenfeld in London for defamation. She did not appear to
contest the court's jurisdiction or the merits of the suit, and
lost on summary judgment the following year.
The British court awarded $225,000 in damages to bin
Mahfouz, and ordered Ms. Ehrenfeld to apologize and destroy
remaining copies of her book.
Bin Mahfouz chose Great Britain to file a lawsuit because
he knew British libel laws provide weak protection for free
speech, relative to the United States. Since he could not win
where the book was written and published, he manipulated the
British legal system to serve his own purposes.
Following the litigation in Federal and State court to
declare the verdict unenforceable, the New York legislature
passed the Libel Terrorism Protection Act in 2008. This statute
provides that a foreign defamation judgment against a New
Yorker will not be recognized unless the law applied in the
foreign court provides as much protection for freedom of speech
as the U.S. and the New York law.
Interested parties, including Members of this Subcommittee,
believe that other States and the Federal Government should
follow New York's lead. If libel tourism is an ongoing threat
to free speech, a more comprehensive response is needed.
Last year, the House passed H.R. 6146, Chairman Cohen's
libel tourism bill, which I co-sponsored. Under the Chairman's
bill, no U.S. or State court may recognize or enforce a foreign
defamation judgment regarding a public figure or public
controversy, unless the foreign judgment is consistent with the
first amendment in our Constitution. This dovetails with U.S.
law, which generally denies enforcement of foreign judgments
that are counter to State public policy.
Other legislators and observers prefer a different
approach, as reflected in bills introduced by Representative
King of New York and Senator Specter of Pennsylvania. The
distinguishing feature of their legislation is the creation of
a new Federal cause of action link to the foreign defamation
suit. Once the foreign plaintiff files a defamation action
against an American defendant in a foreign court, the American
citizen may then sue in U.S. district court, if the foreign
suit does not constitute defamation under U.S. law.
Injunctive relief, compensatory damages and attorneys' fees
are available as remedies. Treble damages may be given, if the
foreign litigant intentionally engaged in a scheme to suppress
first amendment rights by discouraging publishers, or similar
financial supporters, not to endorse the work of journalists,
academics or other commentators.
Now, we all want to support a response that does the best
job of frustrating libel tourists. But in our efforts to craft
such a legislation, we must be careful not to overreach.
For example, legislation that creates a new Federal cause
of action must comport with the Constitution guarantee of due
process. We should not write a bill that allows a U.S. court to
acquire jurisdiction over a foreign citizen, based exclusively
on his decision to file a defamation suit against an American
citizen in a foreign court. There must be greater legal
contacts between the foreign litigant and the United States.
These are issues that we should explore today, Mr.
Chairman. We have a panel of witnesses who are well versed on
the subject of free speech procedure and conflict of laws. I am
confident that they will add their understanding of the subject
And Mr. Chairman, if libel tourism spreads, free speech
will inevitably be muted. Journalists and publishers will be
less willing to report on important and controversial stories
that inform the public and inspire government action where
Founding Father Thomas Paine once said, ``Those who expect
to reap the blessings of freedom must undergo the fatigues of
supporting it.'' And that is our charge today. We must continue
to support free speech by combating libel tourism.
So, before I conclude, Mr. Chairman, I want to mention a
related issue. In many other countries, there is little
distinction made between defamation of an individual and
defamation of an ideology or religion. Other nations do not
have the same high respect for their freedom of speech that we
have in the United States, and it is important that we protect
Americans from any defamation judgment that uses standards that
do not comport with our own.
For example, many foreign governments have justified
restrictions on freedom of speech or expression through
blasphemy and religious defamation laws.
One prominent example is that of Egyptian blogger, Abdel
Karim Suleiman Amir, who was sentenced to 4 years in prison for
criticizing President Mubarak and offending the religion of
Similarly, author Mark Steyn faced charges of offending
Canadian Muslims for an article from his book, ``America
Alone,'' that Maclean's Magazine published last year.
The movement for greater restrictions on freedom of speech
or expression to protect religions rather the rights of
individuals is one of the greatest threats to human freedom at
this time, both internationally and in the United States, and
one which shows how critically important it is that we look at
the problem of libel tourism today. We must remain vigilant to
protect Americans from any foreign defamation judgments.
And thank you, Mr. Chairman, for you patience here, and I
look forward to the witnesses' testimony.
Mr. Cohen. I thank the gentleman for his statement. This is
an ideal time and opportunity--and we had found it last year--
for bipartisanship. So, unlike the vote we will probably take
later today, we will have a good mix of blues and reds being
all blues--or greens, or whatever.
All Members shall have the opportunity to enter a
statement, and opening statements will be included in the
Prepared Statement of the Honorable John Conyers, Jr., a Representative
in Congress from the State of Michigan, Chairman, Committee on the
Judiciary, and Member, Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative
I am pleased that Chairman Cohen has scheduled this hearing on what
has come to be called ``libel tourism.''
Let me just make three quick points:
First, libel tourism threatens the First Amendment rights of
Americans to speak on matters of public concern.
News web sites and internet book sales that can send published
materials around the world dramatically increase the danger of being
sued in a foreign court over something published in the United States.
We'll hear about one such instance today in which the subject of
the publication was financing terrorism.
My hope is that this hearing will help lay the groundwork for a
Second, I believe the best starting point for such a bill in this
Congress is Chairman Cohen's H.R. 6146 from the last Congress, which I
was pleased to co-sponsor.
That bill would impose a limited--but critical--requirement on
those who ask a U.S. court to enforce a foreign defamation judgment
arising from speech on a matter of public concern: to prove that the
foreign judgment is consistent with the First Amendment.
And it would do this without interfering with the legal systems of
Third, I look forward to hearing insights from the legal experts at
today's hearing about the problem of libel tourism and what revisions,
if any, should be made to H.R. 6146 before it is reintroduced.
Thank you, Chairman Cohen.
Mr. Cohen. And I think Mr. King had a statement, who was
going to be a witness. And without objection, we will have that
entered into the record.
[The prepared statement of Mr. King follows:]
Prepared Statement of the Honorable Peter King, a Representative in
Congress from the State of New York
Mr. Cohen. Now, I am pleased to introduce the witnesses for
The first witness is Ds. Rachel Ehrenfeld. As mentioned in
the opening statement, she has been a subject--or an object--of
libel tourism. She is the director of the New York-based
American Center for Democracy and the Center for the Study of
Corruption and the Rule of Law; the author of ``Funding Evil,
How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It,'' ``Evil Money''
Dr. Ehrenfeld is an authority on the shadowy movement of
funds through international banking and governments to fund
terrorism--assuming that monies are still traveling through
She explores the challenges of economic warfare and
international terrorism to democracy and freedom, and how money
laundering and political corruption facilitates terror
financing and economic tourism. She has authored hundreds of
articles about these issues.
She has testified before congressional Committees, as well
as the European and Canadian parliaments on similar
jurisdiction, provided evidence to the British Parliament and
consulted with government agencies, such as the Department of
Defense, Homeland Security, Treasury, Justice and the CIA. She
has also organized and participated in conferences the world
over, and is a member of the board of directors of the
Committee on the Present Danger.
Our second witness will be Mr. Bruce Brown. Mr. Brown is a
former newsroom assistant to David Broder at The Washington
Post, and Federal court reporter for The Legal Times. He joined
the firm of Baker and Hostetler in the summer of 1997. Since
then, he has worked primarily in the areas of libel defense,
prepublication review, news-gathering, copyright and civil
rights. He regularly assists the Society of Professional
Journalists on freedom of information matters.
In the area of prepublication review, he has worked on
biographies of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, former
New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani--and imagine--musician John
Lennon. His published work has appeared in The Washington Post,
The American Lawyer, The Economist, The Legal Times and The
Wall Street Journal, and has been interviewed on NPR and Court
Ms. Laura Handman will be the third witness. She is the co-
chair of the Davis Wright Tremaine appellate practice,
concentrates on media, intellectual property law, provides
prepublication counseling and litigation services from
complaint through trial and appeal to U.S. and foreign book,
magazine, newspaper and electronic publishers and broadcasters.
She has extensive experience in libel and privacy matters
and brings recognized expertise to clients in array of
copyright, trademark and first amendment issues. Also been on
the America Radio Network. Her clients include the America
Radio Network, Amazon.com, BBC, CNN, The Economist, FOX
Television Stations, Inc., HarperCollins and the Random House.
And our final witness is Ms. Linda Silberman. Professor
Silberman joined NYU's School of Law faculty in 1971. First
woman to receive a full-time tenure track appointment to the
School of Law and the first woman tenured professor, full
professor, at NYU School of Law when she received tenure in
1977. She was named the Martin Lipton Professor of Law in 2001.
Professor Silberman has approached all the subjects she
teaches as a blend of the practical and the academic. Whether
it is civil procedure, conflict of laws, family law or
international litigation, she brings to the classroom her
private practice background, her experience as an appellate
lawyer, as a professor in residence at the Justice Department's
Civil Division appellate staff, and her role as a special
referee expert and consultant in a number of leading cases.
She has participated in various State Department study
groups, including the Hague Conference on choices of law
applicable to international sales, the proposed Hague
Convention on Jurisdiction and Judgments, and the Hague
Convention on Choice of Court Agreements.
So, as you can see, we have a very distinguished panel. We
appreciate the willingness of all of you to participate in
Without objection, your written statements will be placed
in the record, and we ask that you limit your oral remarks to 5
minutes. We have got a lighting system. And when it gets to
yellow, you have a minute left. And then at red, Beulah pushes
the buzzer, and you are off.
After each witness has presented his or her testimony,
Subcommittee Members will be allowed to ask questions, subject
to the 5-minute limit.
TESTIMONY OF RACHEL EHRENFELD,
AMERICAN CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY
Ms. Ehrenfeld. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of the
Committee for holding this hearing on libel tourism, which
affects me personally. Special thanks to Mr. Cohen for inviting
Sitting at my desk on January 23, 2004, I was interrupted
by an e-mail from a law firm in London. This was no ordinary
message. It was a letter threatening to sue me for libel in a
British court for statements made in my book, ``Funding Evil:
How Terrorism Is Financed and How To Stop It,'' about the Saudi
billionaire, Khalid bin Mahfouz.
The letter said that Mahfouz denied the allegations in my
book that he funded al Qaeda and other Muslim terrorists
organizations. Mahfouz's lawyers demanded my public apology or
retraction, removing my book from circulation, legal fees and a
donation to a charity of Mahfouz's choice. This was followed by
further messages, faxes, mail and legal papers served.
I am a scholar dedicated to exposing the enemies of freedom
in Western democracies through publications, in books and
articles. The psychological, emotional and financial effects of
the threat of this libel suit against me in London will stay
with me as long as I live.
I refused to recognize the English court's jurisdiction
over me. I did not believe that I should have to defend myself
in a country where my book was not published or even marketed.
Nevertheless, I was sued for libel in London, because 23
copies of ``Funding Evil'' found their way to Britain, mostly
through the Internet, which also carried the chapter of my
book. In 2005, the British court granted Mahfouz a judgment by
default, awarding him hundreds of dollars and other sanctions.
Until the New York legislature passed the Libel Terrorism
Protection Act last May, I spent many sleepless nights worried
that Mahfouz will try to enforce the English judgment against
me in New York. His deliberate non-enforcement left it hanging
over my head like a sword of Damocles, which aggravated the
Mahfouz also uses a dedicated Web site to advertise my
judgment with more than 40 other names of those he threatened
and sued in London.
Mahfouz's suit has never been tried on the merit. Yet, the
British judgment affected my ability to publish. The threat he
wields over me, and over others, chilled American publishers,
especially those with assets overseas, from publishing books
containing information on terror financiers.
Mahfouz also chilled my ability to travel to the U.K., lest
I be arrested to enforce the British judgment against me. I run
the same risk in Europe and in most Commonwealth states, due to
their reciprocal enforcement of judgments.
The Free Speech Protection Act includes provisions to
countersue and damages. These are essential to remove the
chilling effect of foreign libel suits, because they will serve
as a deterrent to people contemplating to sue American writers
and publishers in England or other foreign jurisdictions.
Do you think Mahfouz would have sued me had he known I
could countersue him and ask for damages? And would not that be
true for others who sue the Americans in London or elsewhere?
Today is a special day to have this hearing. We all know
the significance of the man whose birthday we celebrate today.
Lincoln was, among other things, a wonderful writer, who held
this Nation together with his words that he published, and
which we revere to this day.
Imagine if he was intimidated, threatened and chilled from
publishing those words by threat of foreign libel lawsuits. It
is therefore fitting and proper that this Committee held this
hearing about freedom of expression on Lincoln's birthday.
I urge Congress to pass the Free Speech Protection Act,
because it is fitting and proper that it should do so.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Ehrenfeld follows:]
Prepared Statement of Rachel Ehrenfeld
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, for holding
this hearing, which touches me personally. My special thanks to
Chairman Cohen for inviting me. In addition to my oral testimony, I
submit my written statement for the record.
We are confronted by libel tourism--a pernicious and growing
phenomenon, especially after the 9/11 attacks on America--whereby
wealthy and corrupt terror financiers exploit plaintiff-friendly
foreign libel laws and expansive Internet jurisdiction to silence
American authors and publishers. Foreign libel laws have become a
potent weapon used by the forces of tyranny who seek to undermine our
freedom. The Free Speech Protection Act can stop this.
In New York Times v. Sullivan, the Supreme Court struck a critical
balance between libel actions and a free press guaranteed by the First
Amendment. The high court raised the bar for libel plaintiffs to insure
our ``profound national commitment to the principle that debate on
public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.'' Based on
that principle, the court declared: ``libel can claim no talismanic
immunity from constitutional limitations.''
Outside the United States, there are no such ``constitutional
limitations.'' The House of Lords explicitly rejected the Sullivan
standard. So did the Canadian Supreme Court. Although all forty-one-
member states of the Council of Europe submit to the European Court of
Human Rights, Article 10 of its charter also rejects the Sullivan
In many countries, journalists can be jailed for criminal libel;
truth is often not a defense; high office holders enjoy extra
protection against criticism; publications can be confiscated;
newspapers and broadcast stations can be shuttered; and writers can be
forced to publish adverse court orders, and repudiate as false what
they know to be true.
Congress must protect American writers and publishers to guarantee
the ``uninhibited, robust and wide-open'' debate the First Amendment
was designed to protect. Scholars like me seek Congress's help to stop
libel tourism from limiting our ability to write freely about important
matters of public policy vital to our national security.
I can attest that libel tourism is costly, financially and
emotionally. I do not command an army--or control an industry--or have
vast wealth--or hold political office. In other words, I do not possess
any traditional sources of power in society. Instead, I write. I am a
scholar dedicated to expose the enemies of freedom and Western
democracy. I expend great time and effort tracking down information
across the globe. My books and articles are based in large part on
evidence presented to Congress, parliaments and courts. Like most
responsible scholars, I publish only material that can be verified. My
credibility and livelihood depend on it.
In 1992, I published Narcoterrorism: How Governments Around the
World Have Used the Drug Trade to Finance and Further Terrorist
Activities, and first called attention to the intimate relationship
between drug trafficking and terrorism.
Terrorism is not cheap. To the contrary, it is a capital-intensive
activity. It requires lots of cash for training, weapons, vehicles,
salaries, cell phones, airline travel, food and lodging; etc. I showed
how the drug trade, not just oil profits, fuels terrorist
organizations. While policy makers were romanticizing the Palestine
Liberation Organization as a group of so-called ``freedom fighters,'' I
showed how the PLO filled its coffers with billions of dollars from
heroin, hashish, airplane highjacking, extortion and illegal arms
sales. Until my book, neither the American government nor international
agencies for drug control publicly linked narcotics and terrorism.
When asked why he robbed banks, Willy Sutton famously replied:
``Because that's where the money is.'' I followed his lead and followed
the money. This led to my second book, Evil Money: The Inside Story of
Money Laundering and Corruption in Government, Banks and Business, in
which I connected the dots between drug profits, money laundering,
political corruption, Islamic banking and how illicit funds are used to
The Committee undoubtedly remembers BCCI, the Bank of Credit and
Commerce International, the cash till for Hezbollah, the PLO, HAMAS,
Abu Nidal and other terrorist organizations. BCCI's chief operating
officer was Saudi billionaire, Khalid bin Mahfouz, banker to the Saudi
royal family and at that time, owner of the National Commercial Bank of
Saudi Arabia. In 1992, Mahfouz paid $225 million to settle criminal
charges against him in New York arising from his control of BCCI.
In 2003, I published my third book, Funding Evil, How Terrorism is
Financed and How to Stop It. In that book, I showed the true face of
terrorism. It is not the stereotype of underprivileged Islamic youth
yearning to be religious martyrs, but instead, an international network
of corrupt dictators, drug kingpins, and villains like Mahfouz who
transferred some $74 million to at least two front charities for
terrorism: the International Islamic Relief Organization and his
Muwafaq or ``blessed relief'' Foundation, which then gave the funds
directly to al Qaeda, Hamas and other radical Muslim organizations.
In response, Mahfouz sued me for libel. What happened to me did not
occur in a dark backwater of totalitarian repression like Syria, Saudi
Arabia, or North Korea, but in England. Mahfouz does not live there. I
do not live there. My book was not published or marketed there.
Nonetheless, the English court accepted jurisdiction because twenty-
three copies of Funding Evil arrived in England via Internet purchases.
English law does not distinguish between private persons and public
figures. Allegedly, offensive statements are presumed defamatory and
the libel defendant bears the burden to prove they are true. Official
documents from non-English sources are typically inadmissible in court,
and Arab dictatorships refuse to help Western writers and publishers
prove allegations about terrorism.
Protection of opinion is limited and multiple suits are allowed for
a single act of publication. Libel defendants have limited pre-trial
discovery and no right to depose plaintiffs under oath, as in American
courts. Thus, libel plaintiffs usually win, verdicts are substantial,
and defendants must pay the plaintiff's legal fees. It is no wonder
then, the Times of London called London the ``libel capital of the
Mahfouz's threats conveyed by E-mails, faxes, and legal papers were
unsettling, and on one occasion, I was warned to do as he demanded if I
``knew what was good for me'' because he has friends in high places who
wield great influence in the U.S.
I refused to recognize the English court's jurisdiction because I
should not have to defend myself abroad. The British court granted
Mahfouz a default judgment and awarded him hundreds of thousands of
dollars; required me to prevent copies of Funding Evil from reaching
Britain; and ordered me to publish retractions drafted by his
Libel tourism by Mahfouz and others like him made me realize
something more was at stake than my book and the particulars involving
him. In response, I sued Mahfouz in New York to declare his English
judgment violated my rights under the First Amendment. That litigation
led the New York Legislature last May to enact New York's version of
the Free Speech Protection Act. Illinois followed suit last August.
Until the new statute protected me--dubbed by the media as
``Rachel's Law''--Mahfouz's English judgment hung over my head like a
sword of Damocles and kept me up at night.
The United States has a tradition of almost automatic enforcement
of foreign judgments under the doctrine of comity enshrined in the
Uniform Foreign Money-Judgments Recognition Act adopted by a majority
of states. Although writers can assert a First Amendment defense to
enforcement actions, few have the economic resources to do so.
Hence, libel tourism forces them to engage in self-censorship.
Mahfouz's libel tourism in London led American publishers with assets
abroad to cancel several books under contract or consideration. Those
who once willingly courted my work now refuse to publish me. In nearly
forty cases, Mahfouz obtained settlements against his victims, all with
forced apologies, by the mere threat of libel litigation. His boasts
about this on his website to effectively silence and intimidate his
critics in the media and academia.
Case law speaks of the ``chilling effect'' on free speech
threatened by unrestrained libel actions. My case demonstrates the
chilling effect is no mere abstraction. I cannot travel to the U.K.,
lest I be arrested to enforce Mahfouz's extant judgment, and I run the
same risk in Europe, due to the European Community's reciprocal
enforcement of member states' judgments. Similar laws apply in most
Commonwealth states, too.
I close with the immortal words of Justice Brandeis in Whitney v.
Those who won our independence believed that the final end of
the state was to make men free to develop their facilities, and
that in its government the deliberative forces should prevail
over the arbitrary. . . . They believed that freedom to think
as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable
to the discovery and spread of political truth. . . . Believing
in the power of reason as applied through public discussion,
they eschewed silence coerced by law--the argument of force in
its worst form. Recognizing the occasional tyrannies of
governing majorities, they amended the Constitution so that
free speech and assembly should be guaranteed.
A free press is vital not only to our lifestyles, but also, to our
national security to protect writers like me who expose those who do us
evil. New York and Illinois have enacted laws to protect their citizens
from the scourge of libel tourism which threatens press freedom and
scholars, writers and publishers everywhere. The federal Free Speech
Protection Act insures all American citizens will enjoy such
protection. Congress should pass it without delay.
Mr. Cohen. Thank you very much for your statement.
And I want to recognize a former Member, Congressperson Pat
Schroeder who is here, and always honored to be in her
presence. And I appreciate your brevity. It is something
uncommon in this place.
TESTIMONY OF BRUCE D. BROWN, ESQ.,
BAKER AND HOSTETLER, LLP
Mr. Brown. Thank you.
It is a pleasure to be here today, and I thank the
Subcommittee for its interest in finding a way to counter a
growing and, so far unresolved, problem: the threat of libel
tourism to first amendment interests in the U.S.
It is a favorite line of London libel lawyers when they
travel to conferences in the U.S. to quip with a nod to the
great Johnny Cash, that they have just come from a town named
Sue. That I have heard that same joke in different cities,
coming from different English libel lawyers, tells you
something about how well entrenched libel tourism has become.
Speaking at these events with English lawyers about the
historical differences in the way the two countries balance
free speech with reputational interests has always been
intellectually interesting, for sure. These differences, in
fact, used to be solely the stuff of academic conferences and
law review articles.
But today, the importance of the distinction is far from
abstract or theoretical, because today there are stories such
as the one you just heard from author Rachel Ehrenfeld.
Two principal things have happened. First, British judges
have been exceptionally generous to libel plaintiffs from all
parts of the world, who seek to use U.K. courts to hear their
claims despite a tenuous connection on their part, or on the
part of the defendant, to England.
Second, publication over the Internet means that online
content published in the U.S. and intended primarily for an
American audience can be viewed anywhere around the globe,
giving the English courts the thinnest of jurisdictional hooks
for libel cases, but one that they have seized.
London, therefore, has become the destination for a new
class of libel litigant, who circumvents the strong free speech
protections in our courts, and sues instead--or threatens to
sue--in the U.K., where the standards are much weaker. Fear of
substantial libel judgments in the U.K. plainly has a
distorting impact on what is published here at home, stifling
free speech in the U.S. on many important subjects. And so,
libel tourism was born.
The problem was in many ways predictable, as the U.S. and
the U.K. traditions became more entangled in the online world.
But the remedy thus far has been elusive. I am thrilled to see
this Subcommittee pursuing one in this Congress.
The written testimony you have from the other panelists and
from me explains the incentives for a plaintiff to be in a U.K.
court, highlighting the specific ways in which U.S. law is more
protective than U.K. law in the libel area.
While Rachel Ehrenfeld's story is well known, there are
many others that are not, such as Humayun Mirza's. I tell his
full story in my written statement, but let me briefly point
out a few details.
Mr. Mirza is the son of the first president of Pakistan. He
retired after 30 years at the World Bank and wrote a biography
of his father, from his home in Bethesda. The University Press
of America based in Lanham, Maryland, published it in 1999.
Mr. Mirza received a letter from the U.K. attorneys of his
father's second wife, threatening to sue him in London. Each
statement Mr. Mirza had written about her was founded on first-
hand observation, decades of conversations with family members
and Pakistani leaders, as well as State Department files.
The book would unquestionably have been protected under
U.S. law, and it was hardly distributed in the U.K. But Mr.
Mirza was intimidated into withdrawing it, nonetheless.
In a U.K. court, he would have had the burden of proving
the truth of the statements--a daunting task regarding
incidents that in some cases had taken place a half a century
earlier in Pakistan. In a U.S. court, the first amendment has
shifted this burden, and it is the plaintiff who must prove
Moreover, as the wife of a former head of state, Mrs.
Mirza, in a U.S. court, would have been a public figure
required to prove that the allegedly defamatory statements
about her were published with actual malice, or clear and
convincing evidence that Mr. Mirza was aware that the
statements were false or made them with reckless disregard for
English courts have no such protections. So there
ultimately was no case called Mirza v. Mirza in the U.K.,
because Mr. Mirza and his publisher could not risk it.
Countering the impact of libel tourism is not about second-
guessing the British people for striking a different balance
between free speech and reputation than we have. It is about
making sure that foreign jurisdictions do not dictate to us how
we should strike this balance for ourselves.
I first met Laura Handman just over 10 years ago when she
wrote a very important friend of court brief in the Matusevitch
case, which I am sure we will hear about. I covered the case
for Legal Times, and quoted the Wilmer Cutler lawyer who was
representing Mr. Matusevitch pro bono.
What he told me then could be said today about the whole
libel tourism debate. ``This case is not about exporting
American law. It is about importing British law.''
And as the U.S. Supreme Court said, that is one of the
reasons we fought a revolution.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Brown follows:]
Prepared Statement of Bruce D. Brown
Mr. Cohen. Thank you, Mr. Brown.
And we are going to do what we probably should do, which is
to respect your time and our Committee schedule, and pass on
recessing for the Lincoln event. I think he will understand.
TESTIMONY OF LAURA R. HANDMAN, ESQ.,
DAVIS WRIGHT TREMAINE, LLP
Ms. Handman. Thank you. And I hope I do him justice.
Thank you so much, Chairman Cohen and Ranking Member Franks
and the other Members of the Committee, for inviting me to
speak about an issue that has been a passion of mine for nearly
I applaud the heroic determination of Rachel Ehrenfeld and
the efforts of this Committee to address the growing problem of
libel tourism. My support is coupled with the greatest respect
for the international comity concerns that Professor Silberman
will undoubtedly raise. And I have the greatest respect for the
British common law, which is the very foundation and genius of
our legal system.
But I have had the dubious honor of being introduced by my
British counterparts to English judges as the American lawyer
who got, quote, our law, British libel law, declared repugnant.
I garnered that reputation, because I was counsel in the only
two decisions so far where American courts have refused to
enforce British libel judgments.
And I would like to take a moment to explain the Bachchan
case, because its facts really highlight the differences.
In 1991, I was asked by the late Gopal Raju whether I would
represent India Abroad, a newspaper and wire service based in
Manhattan, which served an audience of Indians living primarily
in the U.S. He had just been hit with a judgment from a London
court in a libel action brought by Ajitabh Bachchan, a member
of one of India's most prominent families.
To give you a sense of just how big a deal this family was,
if you have seen the film ``Slumdog Millionaire,'' you will
remember when the Bollywood star comes via helicopter to the
slums and Jamal, locked in the latrine by his brother, dives
into the hole in the floor so he can escape and get the star's
That star, Amitabh Bachchan, was the brother of the
plaintiff in this case. Both Bachchan brothers were intimates
of Rajiv Gandhi, then India's prime minister.
The story in India Abroad reported that the leading Swedish
daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, had reported a new development
in the widely publicized scandal involving alleged kickbacks by
a Swedish munitions company to obtain Indian government
India Abroad--should I wait for the----
Mr. Cohen. Do not worry about that. That is something that
you learn about in your fifth term. So, you can go ahead.
Ms. Handman. India Abroad reported that Dagens Nyheter had
reported that a Swiss bank account belonging to the plaintiff
had been frozen by Swiss authorities. Bachchan sued Dagens
Nyheter and India Abroad in London. And the Swedish paper
immediately issued a retraction and settled.
India Abroad reported the retraction, but did not settle.
That left India Abroad with no defense, because its sole source
had said it had made a mistake.
In the U.K., India Abroad had the burden of proving that
the claims were true. With Dagens Nyheter having claimed--
admitted it was false, that was not possible.
It did not matter that the plaintiff was a quintessential
public figure, or the subject matter was quintessentially of
public concern, involving a political scandal reaching up all
the way to the prime minister facing re-election. It did not
matter that all that India Abroad did was publish an accurate
story about what a highly respected newspaper had reported.
In the U.S., plaintiffs could not possibly establish that
India Abroad published with fault--any kind of fault,
negligence or actual malice--since reliance on a reporting of a
reputable news organization is what all news organizations do,
should do, and what small newspapers like India Abroad must do.
In England, particularly under the laws at the time, a
mistake is a mistake. News organizations are essentially
guarantors of accuracy, and India Abroad had to pay.
These are not minor differences between our two bodies of
law. These go to the core protections, the breathing space
ensured by New York Times v. Sullivan for political speech.
So, when Bachchan came to New York, no U.S. court had
refused to enforce a foreign libel judgment. But Justice
Shirley Fingerhood refused to do so, because, she said,
``England and the United States share many common law
principles of law. Nevertheless, a significant difference
between the jurisdictions lies in England's lack of an
equivalent to the first amendment of the United States
We did win six-to-one in Maryland in the Matusevitch case
that Bruce Brown mentioned. But since these cases, the
pilgrimage of libel plaintiffs--be it Britney Spears, Russian
oligarch Boris Berezovsky, or Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz--they
have all flocked to London.
Virtually every demand letter we receive these days from a
U.S. lawyer is now accompanied by one from a British solicitor.
Libel tourism has only grown, as the Internet permits even a
newspaper like the Washington Times, which sold zero hard
copies in the U.K., to be sued in London by an international
businessman based on several dozen hits in the U.K. on an
Internet Web site about a story about a Pentagon report.
In part because of Bachchan and Matusevitch, the British
courts have moved a step away from strict liability and a step
closer to fault. But with increasing economic pressures, fewer
and fewer media companies--much less individual authors like
Ms. Ehrenfeld--can afford the risk of a more than likely
judgment against them in a British courtroom.
In the case of Forbes, that could be three judgments, since
they are currently being sued simultaneously in Ireland,
Northern Ireland and England for the same story, by the same
That risk is further compounded by the English rule that
makes the loser pay the winner's legal fees, as well as their
own. With British solicitors charging rates as high as 1,300
pounds per hour per lawyer, the result is predictable: U.S.
media agreeing to outside settlements for cases that would have
had no chance of success in the U.S.; and self-censoring, by
either not writing about public figures known to be litigious,
not engaging in investigative reporting; or not publishing in
the U.K. at all.
No one, not the audience in the U.S. or overseas, is well
served by such a regime.
I think that H.R. 6146 is an important step, making
mandatory on the Federal level the Bachchan decision. I have
suggested in my written testimony ways to enhance its remedial
Thank you very much. I look forward to your questions.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Handman follows:]
Prepared Statement of Laura R. Handman
Mr. Cohen. Thank you.
Professor Silberman, you are recognized.
TESTIMONY OF LINDA J. SILBERMAN, PROFESSOR,
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
Ms. Silberman. Thank you.
I would first like to thank you, Chairman Cohen, and the
Subcommittee for inviting me to testify on this subject about
which I have been thinking and writing for decades, and that is
the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments more
And I am delighted to see that this topic is going to be
addressed at the Federal level.
You may have seen the ALI project that I did with my
colleague, Professor Lowenfeld, which offers a somewhat more
comprehensive proposal for a Federal statute governing the
recognition and enforcement of judgments more broadly. The ALI
project represents the position of the Institute, but my
statements and my written testimony are those of myself only.
In the short time that I have, I would like to just make
two points: one, the need for Federal law on this subject; and
secondly, some suggestions about the libel tourism bill. As I
said, I think the subject of recognition and enforcement of
foreign judgments should be a subject of national, Federal law.
And libel tourism is only one aspect of that.
The United States has no bilateral or multinational treaty
dealing with the recognition or enforcement of foreign
judgments. And unlike the full, faith and credit obligation,
which is owed to sister-state judgments, foreign country
judgments are not subject to any constitutional or statutory
requirement of recognition.
Now, it is a curious history why the law on recognition of
and enforcement of foreign country judgments has been treated
as a matter of State law, especially when the only Supreme
Court case on this subject says that it is a matter of
relations between the United States and the foreign state.
But because it has been left to State law, the same foreign
judgment may be recognized and enforced in one State, and not
in another. And the attempt at uniformity has been
unsuccessful, because although they have used the Uniform Act,
it has not been adopted by everyone. The adoptions, when they
have occurred, are not uniform, and interpretations by State
courts are not uniform. And I give in my written statement the
example of the reciprocity requirement required by some States
and not by others.
So, a Federal law in this entire area is desirable. And I
understand that this may be a first step.
The second is on what to do about addressing the specific
problem of libel tourism.
H.R. 6146 is really a specific application of the principle
adopted in every State of the United States, and indeed,
principles adopted by almost every country, that a foreign
country judgment may be refused recognition on grounds that the
judgment is repugnant to the public policy of the enforcing
State. And as we have heard, public policy has been used by
States to refuse recognition and enforcement of a judgment.
H.R. 6146 would make clear that, as a national matter,
first amendment concerns trump the more general policy of
recognizing and enforcing foreign country judgments. And I
think this should be done at the national, at Federal level.
My main critique of H.R. 6146, if I may, is that it does
not distinguish those cases where, from a private international
law and conflict of laws perspective, it is appropriate for
courts in the United States to refuse to recognize judgments,
and when it is not.
And the example that I used is the Matusevitch case, which
has already been referred to, because there the libel judgment
was obtained by one resident of England against another, both
of whom were Russian emigres.
The libel was in England. The comments were published in an
English newspaper. And the U.S. court, as we heard, refused to
recognize the judgment, because of fundamental policy
differences in U.S. and English law.
But the question to be asked here is, when does a country
have interests that are sufficiently implicated to warrant the
application of its own policy?
In the Matusevitch case, everything took place in England.
And, yes, what is at stake are different English and American
views about the appropriate balance between defamation
protection and free speech. And in the Telnikoff case, it is
England that has the relevant interest.
There are, of course, other examples where a court in the
United States would certainly be justified in concluding that
its first amendment concerns should lead to non-recognition. My
basic point only is that H.R. 6146 does not contain those
I have also suggested that a comprehensive approach to
recognition and enforcement of judgments would look at issues
of jurisdiction, where the English courts are exercising
exorbitant jurisdiction. We ought not to be enforcing those
judgments. And I think that is a piece missing from the H.R.
6146 as presently drafted.
As you might expect from my earlier comments, I am highly
critical of the attempts made in the other bills to authorize
jurisdiction and to create a cause of action for declaratory
judgment and these more aggressive remedies.
The jurisdictional provisions in those bills, I think, are
inconsistent with due process. And I think it is much too
aggressive an assertion of U.S. jurisdiction, even in
situations where we would say the U.S. interests are
One need only be reminded of the possibility that an anti-
suit injunction by a court in the United States may be met with
the response of an anti-anti-suit injunction elsewhere. And I
see no reason to elevate the stakes.
And looking, I see my time is over. I just would urge the
Committee to look at this issue somewhat more comprehensively
in a larger context about the recognition and enforcement of
Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Silberman follows:]
Prepared Statement of Linda J. Silberman
Mr. Cohen. Thank you, Dr. Silberman.
And I will now recognize myself for some questions.
You said there are some nuances in 6146 that you think
should be changed, and it relates to this discretion and when
to have an action arises to such that it should not be
recognized here in our courts.
Do you have language that you could recommend to us that
you think would be definitive enough to give guidance to the
Ms. Silberman. Well, I probably ought to think a little bit
about that, but something like when U.S. interests are
undermined, or U.S. interests are affected.
I mean, we are a system that develops these issues by
common law. And there, conflict of law approaches recognize
situations in which there are interests.
I think the failure to give any kind of nuance here,
something like when U.S. interests are affected, would allow
judges to find those situations and avoid, with all respect,
the Matusevitch case, which I myself think is an inappropriate
use of the public policy exception. I mean, we probably differ
in this group, but that is my view. And I think the interests
there of England, however much we disagree with them, are
Mr. Cohen. You mentioned the other bills that have been
introduced on the subject.
Do you know of any precedents for a cause of action in
American law being created by something happening in a foreign
jurisdiction, in law----
Ms. Silberman. Well, I do not know of a----
Mr. Cohen.--in a court?
Ms. Silberman. I do not know of a bill that has moved that
way. Certainly, things can happen in a foreign country that
affect persons in the United States. And depending upon what
those persons have done. I mean, the----
Mr. Cohen. But I do not mean what people have done as much
as a foreign court's actions. Have the actions in a foreign
court ever been such that they have been the cause for action
in the United States in a court system as a response?
Ms. Silberman. Well, of course we know the Yahoo! case in
which the court ultimately dismisses that case. That is a case
for a declaration--a declaration of non-recognition in
precisely this situation--a declaration of non-enforcement,
because of the judgment rendered by the French court against
And I have to confess that I was--I had some consultations
with Yahoo! in that situation. And indeed, I had suggested that
an appropriate course might be a declaration of non-
enforcement. And at the time I said, but I think there is
serious question about whether or not you can get jurisdiction.
At the time, I really did not have all of the facts. But
the mere situation of bringing a suit because process is served
on an American defendant is generally not thought to be a
sufficient basis of jurisdiction.
In the Yahoo! case we have a split decision in which the
judges of the 9th Circuit on rehearing en banc, the majority of
the judges thought that that would be enough. But a combination
of judges who thought it would not enough, and concerns about
ripeness--that is, that the threat was not immediate, there was
no suggestion that they were going to try and force the
judgment--led to the dismissal of the case.
I mean, it is unfortunate, I think, that that case did not
get to the Supreme Court of the United States. And if it did,
we might have some guidance on that subject.
Mr. Cohen. And you mentioned some problems with H.R. 5814,
and the Senate bill, 2977, which I guess--I think are
identical. The problem I take from your testimony, just that it
causes us--it is overreaching in its response?
Ms. Silberman. Well, it is two-fold. One, there is a
provision on jurisdiction in that bill which I believe is
I think the notion that you can take jurisdiction, merely
because someone who sued in a foreign court, and that same
speech has been disseminated somewhere in the United States--I
do not think is enough to get jurisdiction over that party who
brought suit, used the foreign courts to bring suit, assuming
that there was also speech in that country. They have not done
anything, necessarily, in the United States--at least as our
present jurisdictional principles State.
The second thing I worry a great deal about is the notion
of a clawback statute and treble damages. I mean, we have seen
the attempted clawback from the other side, when the English
passed a clawback statute many years ago in the antitrust area.
Interestingly, that clawback statute has never been used by
the English, and I think because they recognize that it is an
aggressive attempt at regulating things that we may do in the
United States with respect to our views about antitrust. Even
if there are foreign defendants who act in the United States,
the English do not think they should have treble damages. We
The English passed a clawback statute, but it has never
been used. And in our relationship with other countries,
respect for our differences seems to me to be very important.
It is one thing for us to say, we are not recognizing this
judgment, because it affronts our public policy and affects
U.S. interests. It seems to me it is perfectly right for us to
It is quite another thing, I think, to take these broad
exercises, anti-suit injunctions, treble damages and clawback
statutes. It shows no respect for a system that, although
different than ours, is certainly a system that owes deference
in situations where they have the strong interest.
Mr. Cohen. Thank you, professor.
And I now yield 5 minutes for questions to the Ranking
Member, our friend, Mr. Franks.
Mr. Franks. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And Dr. Ehrenfeld, at the risk of asking a simplistic
question, looking at this legislation and recognizing your
personal experience, is there some one provision, or one
central concept that you would say is most important? And does
this bill address that effectively?
Ms. Ehrenfeld. I think that, first of all, the principle of
the law is good. However, having a law without any teeth,
without any deterrence, is not good, because libel tourism will
I am not a lawyer, so I will not argue about the legal
aspects of it. But the fact that Mr. bin Mahfouz has a Web site
where he advertises--and he is not the only one--all the legal
judgments against Americans and others, have a very strong
And I do not think that the first amendment is similar to
other civil laws. The United States, as far as I know, is the
only country with strong protections of free speech. There is
no other country with similar protections.
And I think that should make this law different than all
other laws that deal with jurisdiction and reciprocity. That is
my opinion about this.
I know that he had probably--not probably, most likely--
would have not sued, had he known that this will actually reach
Congress. And that is not a deterrent yet, because he is
continuing to sue.
And apparently, Mr. Tweed in England, I assume, is the one
in Ireland who is suing everybody as long as he can do that.
I think that without teeth the law will do very little. I
think it is important to have some measure of deterrent.
Mr. Franks. Well, I hope you continue to be involved. And
we are sure grateful for you being here today.
Ms. Ehrenfeld. Thank you.
Mr. Franks. Professor Silberman, my last question is, you
know, there is another subject related to libel tourism called
For example, you know, you have authors who publish
statements on religious themes under the mantle or provision of
free speech, who are later prosecuted by foreign courts for
And I am not suggesting this should be addressed in any way
in this libel tourism bill, but there are some commonalities,
there are some intrinsic parallels.
And do you have any ideas how we might curtail the
prevalence of the religious defamation cases, and what we
should do about that, as well?
Ms. Silberman. Well, you are quite right that there.
One could find a number of different issues, where the
assertion of jurisdiction and foreign libel, defamation laws
affect a much broader set of issues, like the one you
mentioned. And in some sense, this approach would address some
You will see it in the intellectual property area, as well.
And it is one of the reasons that, you know, I urged a broader
bill--I mean, it may fall on deaf ears. You have enough to do.
But that, if one went at the subject of the recognition and
enforcement of foreign judgment at the Federal level--that is,
a comprehensive statute--I think you could address many of
these different things.
I think you would get uniform Federal law on this subject.
I think you could nuance it sufficiently, so that it would
apply when U.S. interests are affected. And I think it would
stop the sort of disuniformity that is getting done now with
this patchwork of different bills.
Presently, you have a uniform act. Now you have a revised
uniform act. Now you have the New York statute. You have the
This is a problem at the national level. It does involve--
whether we differ or not--it does involve the relation between
our country and other countries and other courts. And it should
be the Congress that takes up and addresses this issue and
decides what the appropriate realms of our interests are.
Mr. Franks. Thank you, professor.
And Mr. Chairman, thank you. I know that free speech is one
of the great core foundations of this country. And I hope that
we can be wise in our approach in how we protect it against
whatever threats, whether they be foreign or otherwise. And I
appreciate the panel for being here, and appreciate the
Chairman for making this hearing possible.
Mr. Cohen. Thank you, Mr. Franks.
I now recognize--is there recognition sought by another
member of the panel?
Mr. Coble? You are recognized. The gentleman from North
Carolina, where Duke was defeated by Carolina.
Mr. Coble. Thank you. [Laughter.]
Well, now, Mr. Merritt might take umbrage with that, since
he is an avid Duke fan.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good to have the panel with us.
Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the Chair for having
recognized Pat Schroeder. Ms. Schroeder served as a
distinguished Member of this Committee and a distinguished
Member of the House of Representatives. And it is good to have
you with us, Pat.
And thank you, Mr. Chairman, you and Mr. Price, for having
called this hearing.
Dr. Ehrenfeld, are there any other cases that have been
brought to your attention where American writers have been sued
in other countries for books or works that were written and
published in the United States?
Ms. Ehrenfeld. Yes. Several authors that have been actually
threatened with libel lawsuits by the same Saudi had contacted
me when they received the letter, asking me, so, what do you
do? How can you defend yourself? What to do?
I also heard from others who not only were threatened to
sue, and they had to apologize and retract--not only Americans,
Canadians too. But also, people were sued in France by the same
Saudi. He has a small industry. He keeps many lawyers busy and
Yes, I have. And I know that it restricted their ability to
publish other books. Especially, they were focused on national
security matters, such as terrorism.
Mr. Coble. Well, I thank you.
Ms. Handman, with regard to Representative King's bill--
that is 5814 in the 110th Congress--what triggering mechanism
or other factor would provide U.S. courts with personal
jurisdiction over a plaintiff who initiates a defamation suit
in a foreign court?
Ms. Handman. Well, an awful lot of the cases that we have
been talking about, and that we talk about in our--is this on--
that we talk about in our papers are actually U.S. citizens,
who choose to go overseas to sue. So, there would clearly be
jurisdiction over them, because they are U.S.-based.
I think of a lot of the celebrities in Hollywood, for
example, or a number of businessmen, U.S. businessmen, who have
chosen to sue overseas, because of the favorable laws in
England. So, even applying the most traditional due process
mechanisms, those kinds of claims would be covered.
And then it reaches further out there. A lot of these
international businessmen have dealings in the U.S. You know,
the case, for example, involving the Washington Times right
now, where they did not publish in the U.K. They only published
here, though--no hard copies of the Washington Times in the
But there were Internet hits--40 of them, or so--in the
U.K. That was brought by an international businessman, who was
doing business with the provisional government in Iraq, who had
many ties to U.S. businessmen. And he would be subject to the
very traditional mechanisms of jurisdiction and due process to
the claims either in this bill, and with the suggestions I have
made to expand the declaratory judgment remedy, and then the
existing bill, H.R. 6146, to include a declaratory judgment
But staying within the jurisdictional limits of due
process, I do agree with Professor Silberman, that that
obviously is going to be the watchword. But it should be taken
to the limits of due process. And it will be for the courts to
decide whether someone who sues overseas, who files a lawsuit--
who serves process here--has an expectation that he could be
foreseeably brought to the U.S. to respond to a suit here.
Mr. Coble. Okay. I thank you for that.
Mr. Brown, in wake of the potential lawsuits, how would you
advise an American writer preparing to write a book or an
article or work? What advice or counsel would you extend?
Mr. Brown. Get libel insurance, right? I mean, that is
Ms. Ehrenfeld. You cannot----
Mr. Brown. Yes. The first and foremost response to your
question, I can remember hearing Rachel Ehrenfeld talk about
her sleepless nights, wondering if the judgment against her
would be enforced back in the U.S.
I can recall, when I was representing Mr. Mirza, whose
story I discussed in my written testimony, he spent an
afternoon in his attic looking for his homeowner's insurance
policy, to see if by chance--although he could not remember--
but just to see if by chance there was some rider or provision
in the policy that would give him coverage in the case that
there was a libel judgment or a libel action instituted against
him. He, like Dr. Ehrenfeld, was terrified of the potential
And as Laura and I can both tell you and tell the
Subcommittee, when we advise clients who are publishing on any
matter of global concern today, whether it is international
finance or global terrorism, or anything related to the world
of celebrities or high-profile people, you go into it today
assuming that you have got to keep your eye on U.S. law, as
well as the law of the U.K., because of the growing problem of
lawsuits in that jurisdiction.
And I would just like to add one quick note on the personal
jurisdiction issue. When we talked--you had asked the question
about triggering mechanisms.
There is an analog here, I think, to the alien tort
statute, that if Congress were to contemplate creating some
kind of substantive cause of action for conduct that took place
entirely overseas, the alien tort statute provides a perfect
example--and it has been around for 200 years--of Congress
creating subject matter jurisdiction for this kind of conduct.
And, under the alien tort statute, there have been cases
where foreigners have been served with papers while in the
United States. That is one of the truest and surest ways to get
personal jurisdiction over someone.
And you may remember that Dr. Karadzic was personally
served with an alien tort case when he had just finished dining
out at a New York restaurant in the 1990's. And that is a
wonderful example of how U.S. law, when it has a bite like a
substantive cause of action in the alien tort statute, can
ensure that people who visit our country ultimately have to
answer to our laws.
Mr. Coble. Thank you, sir.
Mr. Chairman, I see the red light. Can I put a quick
question to Professor Silberman?
Mr. Cohen. Without objection.
Mr. Coble. I thank you for that.
Professor Silberman, while we are all concerned about
foreign suits that raise enormous concerns for American
writers, can you tell us whether you are familiar with any
foreign libel plaintiffs who were seeking to enforce their
Ms. Silberman. I do not know of any offhand. I think maybe
some of the other witnesses who do handle these cases are more
likely to know than I.
Mr. Coble. Anyone else want to weigh in on that?
Ms. Handman. The two cases that I----
Mr. Coble. Briefly, because the Chairman has given me an
Ms. Handman. Sure. The two cases I was involved in, in
Bachchan and Matusevitch, they had both come here to the U.S.
to enforce that judgment.
So, those are--and then, those decisions came out, and that
has had something of an in terrorem effect, I think,
discouraging people from coming here. And that leaves Ms.
Ehrenfeld in the untenable position she is in, because bin
Mahfouz has not come here to enforce the decision. He just has
it on his Web site as a cautionary note to all writers who want
to write about him.
Mr. Coble. Oh, gotcha. Okay. Thank you all.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Cohen. Thank you, sir.
I am going to ask a few more questions, a second round, if
anybody else wants to.
But, Mr. Brown, have the English courts ever declined
jurisdiction over American authors, under the theory that we
have a different standard here, and they take that into
consideration at all?
Mr. Brown. I am not familiar with those cases. There may be
one in some of the written testimony, where there have been
examples of English courts backing down on personal
Laura, do you have----
Ms. Handman. Yes. I was an expert in one of them for
Barron's in London in the Osicom Chadha case, which I mention
in my testimony.
There, they did find jurisdiction over a California
technology company and its president. But they exercised forum
non conviens, and dismissed it based on forum non conviens,
which is a discretionary basis, saying that the bulk of
witnesses and testimony would be overseas.
That has been more the exception than the rule in London,
in my experience in these cases.
Mr. Cohen. Professor Silberman, do you want to comment?
Ms. Silberman. There are some examples with respect to
abstention, both in Canada and the United States. The only
thing I wanted to say is that, the suggestion that I made about
adding to the bill a provision that said we would not recognize
a judgment when the foreign court exercised what we might
characterize as exorbitant jurisdiction from the U.S. point of
And that might well be situations where the publication is
in the U.S., and it gets picked up, and there are a few hits on
the Internet site. The Europeans, the English, they have
jurisdiction in a very different way than we do. They will take
jurisdiction in those kinds of cases.
It is true that most of those countries--Australia and
England, I know--will issue damages only for the amount of
injury that occurs in their jurisdiction, unlike in the U.S.
But nonetheless, that has the in terrorem effect that we were
But a provision that said, when a foreign court exercises a
jurisdiction--it exercises jurisdiction on a basis that is
perceived as unreasonable in the United States, we would not
recognize that judgment.
I think that is, in fact, the law in the various States as
well, but its interpretation differs.
Mr. Cohen. Let us assume you sold a lot of books in
England, and it was--still, they ruled against you.
Isn't it just as much an infringement on the American
belief in your right to express your thoughts? And should not
that judgment over there, even though there was a lot of
damages there, still should not have--still be unenforceable
here, because it is inhibiting our speech?
Ms. Silberman. Yes, if in fact if it inhibits our speech,
I am merely suggesting that there are really two prongs. I
was not suggesting jurisdiction as a substitute for public
policy. I was really suggesting, as the law is now, that there
is a defense on grounds of public policy, and there is a
defense on grounds of an unreasonable exercise of jurisdiction.
Mr. Cohen. Dr. Ehrenfeld talked about teeth. If we
permitted attorneys' fees, would that not be--I mean, maybe
they would be like, you know, tiny, baby teeth. But they would
Would that be something that would be okay?
Ms. Silberman. Attorneys' fees----
Mr. Cohen. When you bring the action. You bring an action
to--say they want to enforce their judgment, and you are
bringing your action under our laws, and it is unenforceable.
And if you are successful in saying that--because they try
to bring their action here to enforce their judgment. And they
are thwarted because of our law, that then they have to pay
attorneys' fees to the prevailing party here.
Ms. Silberman. That is certainly teeth. And we certainly
have given awards for prevailing parties in other situations
when we deem that necessary. Yes.
Mr. Cohen. Do you both agree, Ms. Handman and Mr. Brown?
Something that would be acceptable?
Ms. Handman. Yes, your honor, that is indeed what I----
Mr. Cohen. I like that. But this is America, not England.
Ms. Handman. Sorry. It is a habit.
Mr. Chairman, yes, that is the amendment that we have
suggested. And it would give teeth. And it is very similar to
anti-SLAPP statutes, which are now in 25 States, where there
are attorneys' fees when someone brings an action that burdens
speech, which indeed, this would be a classic example of.
And I would suggest that the attorneys' fees should be able
to reach any fees that were encountered in the British action
as well, or the overseas action as well, any incurred there.
That would put a little extra teeth in it, not just for
defending the enforcement action, but also for whatever was
And in a way, it is only fitting, given that the British
have that rule of fee shifting that is in place, and has had a
huge impact on American suit over there.
Mr. Cohen. Yes, that caught my attention when it was
mentioned in the testimony. And it certainly would be a good--
it would be teeth, and it would work with Dr. Ehrenfeld. And
then that--you know, I did the SLAPP suit statute in Tennessee.
Ms. Handman. Oh, congratulations.
Mr. Cohen. So, yes. Thank you. A strategic lawsuit against
Pickford. And they did not really like that too much.
Mr. Brown. And maybe I could just add to that. In my
written testimony, I discuss the different outcomes involving
lawsuits brought against Cambridge University Press in the
U.K., and Yale University Press in California. They are both
involved in books dealing with the financing of global
In the Cambridge case, the books were destroyed. Cambridge
capitulated and wrote a very self-serving, apologetic letter to
Mr. bin Mahfouz, who was the plaintiff there, which Mr. bin
Mahfouz has well publicized.
In the Yale case--Yale was in California--they had access
to the California anti-SLAPP statute, which they used, and they
filed a motion to dismiss the case. And the plaintiff in that
case ended up dismissing, even before the court had an
opportunity to hear the anti-SLAPP motion.
And as a colleague of mine pointed out to me just
yesterday, the lawyer for the plaintiff in that case said,
sounding more like a Harvard quarterback, that ``Yale came at
us hard.'' And that is why they decided to drop their action in
the face of the anti-SLAPP motion.
So, it is quite effective, that fee-shifting provision
Mr. Cohen. Yes, Dr. Ehrenfeld, please?
Ms. Ehrenfeld. In the case of Cambridge University Press,
interesting to note that the lawyers for bin Mahfouz were asked
why did he sue only the publishers and not the American authors
of the book. They were not sued.
And he responded that, because Cambridge University is here
in England, it is easy to sue. ``It is difficult to sue
American writers now.'' This was following the New York
So, it seems that was a deterrent.
But in spite of what happened in Cambridge, and despite the
big publicity, there are the authors--or one author, the living
author of Cambridge--of ``Alms for Jihad,'' the book that
Cambridge University pulled--cannot get a publisher here in the
U.S., because they are afraid that it will reach England, and
the publishers do not want to publish it. It is a very good
book. It should be published.
In addition, there are--Cambridge University Press actually
defamed the authors, the American authors. But they cannot take
action against it, because they do not want to get involved in
So, the more deterrence we have, the bigger the teeth, I
think, the better it will be.
Mr. Cohen. So, you like the attorneys' fees idea.
Ms. Ehrenfeld. I do.
Mr. Cohen. And what if we require kind of a role reversal,
the attorneys to give a third of whatever they get back to
their client? [Laughter.]
Ms. Ehrenfeld. You have to ask the attorneys here.
Mr. Cohen. That would lose the Bar's support. We cannot do
Has English defamation law at all changed and moved more
toward our type of first amendment protections, Ms. Handman?
Ms. Handman. Yes, congressman, it has. And I take some
small measure of credit for that. I do think the decisions in
the U.S. have had that effect, and that is what I am told by my
colleagues who practice there.
But it is nowhere near where our law is. The burden of
proving truth is still on the defendant.
The Reynolds case, which is the case that has allowed some
small measure of fault to be considered, so that if you make a
mistake, but if you did all the things that the Reynolds court
said--get comment, act fairly, a whole host of, a list of sort
of what constitutes responsible journalism--then--and it is a
matter of public concern--and they define that very narrowly,
so that much of what in America would be deemed a matter of
public concern would not fit within that definition--then
there, even though you made a mistake, you may well be not
And that was the case in the Jameel case that was recently
decided for Dow Jones.
But in that case, even--what it is is a standard very
different than what the actual malice standard is. Actual
malice is basically deliberate falsehood. It is knowing it is
false, or having serious doubts about the truth, and publishing
It is basically a bad faith kind of defense, and it is
subjective. It is what is in the reporter's head.
It is not a ``what do good journalists do'' standard, which
is more like a negligence standard. That is a lower bar.
But when there are public figures in the U.S., they have to
prove that higher bar. And it is intentionally so, because that
is the ability to make mistakes, basically, is what New York
Times v. Sullivan enshrined.
So, they are not anywhere near that. And that is what I
hear from my colleagues over there. And that is my own
perception. Even the lawyers who got that great decision in the
Jameel case say, we are nowhere where you are, even on that
And also on opinion, they have a sort of reasonableness
test. We have, basically, if it is not a statement provable as
true or false, it is opinion. And you cannot be sued for it.
And then the judge does not get to say whether it is a good
opinion or a bad opinion. That is a huge difference also.
And there are many other smaller things like that, in terms
of jurisdiction, in terms of statute of limitations, that make
a huge difference as well.
But those are the main things, and it is really not
anywhere near where we are yet.
Mr. Cohen. Thank you.
Who wants to comment?
Ms. Silberman. If I could, just briefly. Of course, they
are changing. I think we have seen that. The European
Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant of
Civil and Political Rights are having an impact on the laws of
And I think it is important to remember that when we talk
about what I characterized as the nuances, how far we want to
go, and who is affected, whether it is a foreign plaintiff,
whether it is an English plaintiff who is injured in England.
I mean, we could just take the mirror image. Imagine a
place that had no protection for libel law, no defamation law
whatsoever. And they publish here, and a U.S. citizen is
injured and wants to sue for defamation. It meets with our
standards, and so there would be a cause of action, but there
would be no protection under the foreign law, and the United
States issues a judgment.
I mean, we would think that we had the relevant interest
when there was a publication here, and there was a U.S.
plaintiff. We would think we had every right to regulate that,
regardless of what had been done in the other country.
And so, I just suggest, as I often do in these kinds of
cases, for us to stand in the shoes of the other country, and
look at where the publication is, who is the resident. All of
those things will be relevant in terms of the public policy.
And I think it is important that these changes are
occurring, and that there are not quite the same wide gaps of
difference in the libel laws.
Mr. Brown. And I would just add to that. I think--briefly--
that the fact that we are here today is something that is
putting pressure on U.K. lawmakers.
I think you will see in the written testimony that there
have been debates in Parliament quite recently about the
phenomenon of libel tourism. And I think there are many M.P.s
who are embarrassed by what they see happening in the U.K.
courts. And I think the publicity we are giving to the issue
today is another thing that will help perhaps reform U.K. libel
But the Reynolds defense that Laura mentioned, it is only
10 years old. We have had 45 years' experience under New York
Times v. Sullivan.
But I would say that, as it has been described by some, as
a test in which judges look back after publication and make
some kind of evaluation about whether a publication was fair,
fairness is not a concept in American libel law.
And for those of us who practice in this area, one of the
most famous articulations of that is Judge Leval in the famous
Westmoreland case, who said that a publication can be
relentlessly one-sided and unfair, and still be protected by
the actual malice rule. And I think that, in all likelihood,
the Reynolds defense will never catch up with where actual
And one final point. I think just another twist in U.K.
libel law is that they still routinely enjoin authors and
publishers. And I think there is nothing more perverse than the
fact that Dr. Ehrenfeld here, who made no intent at all to have
her book published in the U.K., is now, I understand it, still
under an injunction, right, and could be held in contempt of
court, if a book that she never intended to be available to a
U.K. audience, somehow is published there again, or is
available there again.
And I cannot imagine a more perverse miscarriage of justice
Mr. Cohen. Doctor?
Ms. Ehrenfeld. Regarding the Jameel case and the changes in
the British law, the decision--Lord Hoffman said in that case--
and I think the decision was that the measure is how
responsible the reporters report. So, who will decide who is a
responsible reporter? Should we leave it to the court? That is
an important question.
So, I do not think that that is a real movement toward a
change, but it is not really change.
Regarding other changes, I understand that the British Bar
is now discussing changes in the structure of payment of
defendants in libel lawsuits. That is, as far as I know, the
changes that they are discussing, but not really about the
libel laws themselves.
Mr. Cohen. Thank you. I do not believe there are any
And if not, I would like to thank all the witnesses for
their attendance and their testimony.
Without objection, Members will have 5 legislative days to
submit any additional written questions, which we will forward
to the witnesses and ask that you answer as promptly as you
can. They will be made part of the record.
The record will remain open for 5 legislative days for the
submission of any other additional materials. Materials have
been forwarded to us, and the request had been made to have
them included in the record. And without objection, they will
be made so.
A statement from the World Press Freedom Committee with
appendices; a letter from John J. Walsh to me; a statement from
the American Association of American Publishers; a statement
from the American Jewish Congress; and a statement from the
American Civil Liberties Union.
Without objection, that is done.
[The information referred is available in the Appendix.]
Mr. Cohen. I thank everyone for their time and patience.
This hearing of the Subcommittee on Commercial and
Administrative Law is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:14 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
Material Submitted for the Hearing Record
Prepared Statement of the World Press Freedom Committee
Letter from John J. Walsh, Esq., Carter Ledyard and Milburn LLP
Prepared Statement of the Association of American Publishers
Prepared Statement of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Prepared Statement of the American Jewish Congress
Response to Post-Hearing Questions from Bruce D. Brown, Esq.,
Baker and Hostetler, LLP
Response to Post-Hearing Questions from Laura R. Handman, Esq.,
Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP
Response to Post-Hearing Questions from Linda J. Silberman, Professor,
New York University School of Law
Prepared Statement of the 9/11 Families for a Secure America
Letter from Patricia S. Schroeder,
the Association of American Publishers, Inc.
Wall Street Journal article entitled ``Foreign Law and the First
Amendment,'' by Floyd Abrams
Letter from Caroline Fredrickson, Director, Washington Legislative
Office, and Michael W. Macleod-Ball, Chief Legislative and Policy
Counsel, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Letter from Abraham H. Foxman, National Director,
the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
Press Release from the American Jewish Congress
Letter from Lynne E. Bradley, Director, Government Relations,
the American Library Association (ALA)
Letter from Paul B. Jaskot, CAA President and Professor of Art and Art
History, DePaul University, and Linda Downs, Executive Director, the
College Art Association (CAA)
Prepared Statement of various organizations
Article entitled ``It Takes the Marketplace of Ideas to Win the War of
Ideas,'' by Andrew C. McCarthy
New York Post article entitled ``Rachel's Law,''
by Samuel A. Abady and Harvey Silverglate
New York Times article entitled `` `Libel Tourism': When Freedom of
Speech Takes a Holiday,'' by Adam Cohen
Washington Times editorial
Prepared Statement of Paul Alan Levy, Public Citizen Litigation Group,
Letter from Eric Rassbach, National Litigation Director, and L. Bennett
Graham, Legislative and International Programs Officer, The Becket Fund
for Religious Liberty
Prepared Statement of Yasmine Lablou
Article entitled ``British libel laws: cutting off crucial
by Richard N. Winfield
Letter from John Whittingdale, OBE MP, Chairman, Culture,
Media and Sport Committee, House of Commons