A Ukrainian businessman’s case against a Ukrainian newspaper has been declared outside the UK’s jurisdiction, by a Queen’s Bench master at the Royal Courts of Justice today.
Master Leslie said that the connection to the UK jurisdiction was tenuous, but was reluctant to label it a case of libel tourism.
“It’s been called a libel tourism case. I’m not sure I approve of that title, or that this is necessarily such a claim,” he said.
However, Mark Stephens, the solicitor who represented the newspaper, the Kyiv Post, said: “This is one of the worst cases of libel tourism I’ve encountered in recent years.
“This is a dispute between a Ukrainian oligarch and a Ukrainian paper about matters in the Ukraine. It has no connection with the UK and the learned Master Leslie quite rightly threw the case out.”
“Forum shopping libel cases have become the scourge of the British legal system. In the United States they have even had to pass legislation (the Speech Act and Libel Terrorism Acts) to protect their citizens and publishers from this abuse.”