Book Review Editor Sued For "Criminal Libel"*


*Update: Though some states have repealed criminal libel statutes in recent years, the charge exists in many states. A full list can be found here.

Libel law is apparently a little different in France than in the U.S.

Joseph Weiler, an NYU law professor, has been accused of criminal libel (a charge that does not exist in the states) by an author for publishing an unfavorable book review of her book on

Weiler is the Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of International Law, where he describes in an editorial, “On 25June 2010 I will stand trial before a Paris Criminal Tribunalfor refusing to remove a book review written by a distinguishedacademic to which, however, the author of the book in questiontook exception.”

So what did the author Dr. Karin N. Calvo-Goller find to be false and defamatory in Professor Thomas Weigend’s book review? Wigend’s statement that, “…inthe main part of her book she simply restates the contents ofrelevant parts of the ICC Statute and the Rules of Procedureand Evidence.”

Apparently a pin-prick of a criticism is enough to bruise Calvo-Goller’s ego.

Read the whole play-by-play of the literary transgression at EJIL.

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