Friday, January 28, 2011

Editor sued for running a negative book review

Moby Lives - 27 January 2011

Bookslut points us to the blog of the European Journal of International Law, where New York University law professor Professor Joseph Weiler writes a column detailing what it’s like to find himself in the dock of a Paris courtroom, where he is currently appearing on a daily basis as a criminal defendant — for having run a negative book review on the EJIL’s website, which he edits.

“The setting could not have been grander,” Weiler writes of his arrival in court. “As I entered the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris, the French Old Bailey, my lawyer whispered: ‘Emile Zola was tried here.’ Vive la difference: This was no Dreyfus Affair but the stakes for Academic Freedom and liberty of expression are huge.”

As an earlier story in Times Higher Education reports, Weiler is facing charges brought by Karin Calvo-Goller, senior lecturer at the Academic Centre of Law and Business in Israel, and author of The Trial Proceedings of the International Criminal Court. After running a review of the book by Thomas Weigend, director of the Cologne Institute of Foreign and International Criminal Law, and dean of the faculty of law at the University of Cologne, “Dr Calvo-Goller wrote to Professor Weiler alleging that it was defamatory and asking for it to be taken down,” says the THE report, because it could “cause harm to my professional reputation and academic promotion.” She even provided Weiler with a positive review to run in its place. Weiler told her “The heavy burden needed in my eyes to suppress a book review has not been met,” but offered her space to reply. She declined and pressed charges of “criminal libel” instead.

Full piece at Moby Lives.

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