In Paris, the editor of the European Journal of International Law, Prof. Joseph Weiler, is being sued for criminal libel on the grounds that he published a critical book review on the Journal’s website. The book’s author, Karin Calvo-Goller, senior lecturer at the Academic Centre of Law and Business in Israel, first wrote to the Journal complaining that the review could “cause harm to [her] professional reputation and academic promotion.” Having been told that there were not sufficient grounds for replacing the book review, Dr. Calvo-Goller declined the opportunity to defend her book in the Journal, choosing instead to find a court that would be prepared to hear a libel case against it. Hardly the academic way of doing things.

Prof. Weiler has written a column about the experience of going to court:

In preparing a defense we faced a delicate challenge. The case was otiose for two reasons: It was in our view an egregious instance of ‘forum shopping,’ legalese for libel tourism. We wanted it thrown out. But if successful, the Court would never get to the merits –  and it was important to challenge this hugely dangerous attack on academic freedom and liberty of expression. Reversing custom, we specifically asked the Court not to examine our jurisdictional challenge as a preliminary matter but to join it to the case on the merits so that it would have the possibility to pronounce on both issues.

Re: negative reviews, this post from a few months ago.

via the rumpus