Editor Charged for Unflattering Review

12Mar10

Say what you want about the American justice system, but it’s not crazy like this:

Joseph Weiler, an NYU law professor who is editor of the European Journal of International Law, has been charged with criminal libel in France by Karin Calvo-Goller, who was displeased with a critical review of her book published in Professor Weiler’s journal.  Professor Weiler gives a patient account of the matter in the editorial linked here, including a link to the review, which is critical but mild (contrast this!)  The author has obviously done more damage to her own reputation by making this criminal complaint than would have been possible by any book review, let alone the one in question.  It bears noting that “criminal libel” in France does not mean that a prosecutor has reviewed the charges and found that they have enough merit to warrant action; it suffices for the offended party, in this case Dr. Calvo-Goller, to file a criminal complaint.

Another reason to be embarrassed of my heritage.

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7 Responses to “Editor Charged for Unflattering Review”

  1. Wow, that kind of takes the birthday cake for ridiculous law suits.

  2. But Cate – it’s in FRANCE. It WOULD be ridiculous here, but in France, the fact that it could be brought is a tad startling.

  3. Wow – a littl e more than bizarre for sure. I thought most countries had more controls than that. I don’t know anything at all about the law – but that seems way over the top.

  4. Goodness. More confirmation that it is ALWAYS a bad idea to respond to a negative review. There are no exceptions to this rule!

  5. 5 Sian

    You clearly live in a sane little bubble over there in the US. Check out European Union ‘laws’ on subjects such as the acceptable bendiness of bananas.

  6. 7 Terry

    T o use an old expression, this is beyond the pale.


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