Foreign Policy Blogs

Foreign Anti-Libel Bill Passes Senate

Bipartisan legislation that would protect journalists from libel suits filed abroad, authored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), passed the U.S. Senate last week.

S. 3518 the Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage Act or SPEECH Act, would prohibit a domestic court from recognizing or enforcing a foreign judgment for defamation against an American.

According to a summary of the bill, it:

Provides that any U.S. person, against whom a foreign judgment is entered on the basis of the content of any writing, utterance, or other speech by that person that has been published, may bring an action in district court for a declaration that the foreign judgment is repugnant to the Constitution or laws of the United States.

Senators Leahy and Sessions said in a statement that they authored the bill, which now goes to the House, “to protect American authors, journalists and publishers from foreign libel lawsuits that undermine the First Amendment.”

The legislation had the support of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, a DC non-profit that provides free legal assistance to reporters.



Genevieve Belmaker

Genevieve Belmaker is a freelance journalist and contributing editor with The Epoch Times ( She also contributes to Quill, the magazine of the Society of Professional Journalists and Her blog on journalism is

Genevieve has traveled throughout the U.S., Asia, Central America, Israel and the West Bank for reporting assignments, including major investigative reports on the recovery of New Orleans, the encroaching presence of China in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, the dangerous import of melamine-contaminated milk into the U.S. and settlement outposts in the West Bank. She regularly reports on issues related to journalism, and the work of journalists.

She holds a BA from the University of Southern California in International Relations, and has been a member of several prominent national and international professional media organizations, including the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the International Women’s Media Foundation, the New York Press Club, and the Newswomen’s Club of New York. She lives in Jerusalem, Israel with her husband and son.

Areas of Focus:
New Media; Journalism; Culture and Society