As Britain Looks to Strengthen Its Libel Laws, the US Weighs Weakening Its Own

From CJR’s The Media Today by Jon Allsop:

For years, oligarchs and other wealthy foreigners and corporations have used British courts to sue journalists over reporting they don’t like, taking advantage of the country’s historically weak libel laws. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Britain’s subsequent sanctioning of Russian oligarchs, has shone a harsh new spotlight on the practice. Earlier this month, Bob Seely, a lawmaker in the governing Conservative Party, took advantage of a doctrine that shields British lawmakers from legal liability for things they say in Parliament to name and shame elite British attorneys and law firms who, he said, have helped Russian oligarchs try to silence their critics, and called for action. “A free press should be intimidating kleptocrats and criminals,” he said. “Why have we got to this position in our society—a free society, the mother of Parliaments—where we have kleptocrats, criminals and oligarchs intimidating a free media?”