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Politicians in New York have acted to protect the state's writers and publishers from so-called libel tourism after an English libel judgment went against an American author.

The Libel Terrorism Protection Act was given a unanimous passage in the state Senate in Albany, the New York Law Journal reported. The new bill was introduced after the New York Court of Appeals ruled in December that the state's laws did not protect Rachel Ehrenfeld, an American author, from a possible bid by a Saudi Arabian businessman to enforce a summary judgment issued by the High Court in London.

The bill is intended to amend New York's so-called "long-arm statute" in order to give the state's courts jurisdiction over a foreign libel claimant who won a judgment against an author or publisher with sufficient physical or financial ties to the state.

It would allow New York's courts to declare that a foreign judgment was unenforceable if the courts decided that the libel laws in foreign jurisdictions did not protect freedom of speech and the press to the same extent as the laws in New York and the US.


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