Bad review? The French have a remedy

French law equates personal honour with personal safety


On March 3, three judges in the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris, adjudicating a law that views attacks on personal honour as criminal assault, will issue their ruling as to whether an academic book review written in English by a German professor in New York about a book written in English by an author living in Israel, and published by a Dutch firm defamed the book’s author. The author who brought the complaint, Karin Calvo-Goller, at least, is a French citizen.  Calvo-Goller, a senior lecturer at the Academic Center of Law and Business in Israel and the author of The Trial Proceedings of the International Criminal Court, thought the review—a technical and mild., if condescending piece by Thomas Weigend, a law professor at the University of Cologne—said the review “may cause harm to my professional reputation and academic promotion.”

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Bad review? The French have a remedy

  1. Do they give a choice of swords or pistols?

    Seriously, it puts a bit of a damper on the notion of free speech.

  2. This is total bull. If criticism is denied in this way, as it often is in Ontario, draggin those who have no funds to pay the courts through large legal fees will enact a new form of libel chill.

    I am very disappointed in the French judiciary for this ruling.

    • The sad thing is, copy cats like the Canadian Human rights tribunals and others have been in locked steps with their whimsical European cousins. They just can't stand being out of trends from the so called "enlightened" flakes.

  3. is this about libel or criminal assault?

  4. Their courts will be swamped with idiotic lawsuits and counter suits. Europe is so full of idiotic political correctness and even more idiotic politicians and bureaucrats that muzzles society up. No wonder they always end up having wars to free them. They have been willingly given their freedom away without thinking of the lives they have lost and will be lost to free them.

  5. I wonder if there is a list of anything the french ever did that benefited society? I have read as far back as Captain Cook, and he avoided them, on his exploration, like the plaque. Actually thats exactly why he avoided them. Before he would let his crew loose on a new Island or revisiting a former discovery, he would find out if the french had been there lately. If they had been, he pulled anchor touter fast! All documented.

  6. oh my ! French-bashing at its best.

    What can be said up to now is just that the French law allows an idiot to waste some time and some energy of an editor and judges.

    Maybe you’ll want to wait for the actual ruling to draw any other conclusions.

  7. The judgment was made yesterday : the court confirmed it considers the case to be out of its juridiction, and the accusation to have no merits.

    Karin Calvo-Goller was sentenced to pay 8000 € to Thomas Weigend.

    Too much nonsense and French bashing in the comments here !

  8. small correction : the one in court was the editor, Joseph H.H. Weiler, not the actual writer of the review Mr Weigend

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