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Pretty much knew it would happen, but still… How wonderful. The grotesque Karin Calvo-Goller has lost her libel case over a negative book review.

I’m about to send a congratulatory email to Joseph Weiler.

The whole case was sickening. France needs to revisit its libel laws.

Background here. (Note that I was wrong. She didn’t drop the case. She kept at it and will now, one hopes, both pay Weiler’s legal expenses and suffer the derision she deserves.)


Update: Indeed. In response to my congratulatory email, Professor Weiler sent me an account of the proceedings. The French court speaks:

[Complainant] has abused her right to bring legal proceedings, on the one hand by initiating an action for defamation in relation to words that do not go beyond the limits of academic criticism, an essential element of academic freedom and freedom of expression and, on the other hand, by artificially bringing proceedings through the French criminal justice system.”

Considering the resulting harm suffered by the accused, he will be justly compensated by judgment against the Complainant requiring her to pay to him the sum of €8,000.” [about US$ 11,000]

UD thanks Professor Weiler.


Sing it.

Margaret Soltan, March 3, 2011 3:50PM
Posted in: free speech

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6 Responses to “Cool.”

  1. francofou Says:

    Meanwhile, you are strangely silent on the Northwestern sideshow.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    I did post a teeny bit about it. But okay, francofou – here’s my take:

    How well does a man think with a hard-on? How well does a flushed and aroused woman think? Does this strike anyone as the best condition in which to learn in a college classroom?

    There’s sexually receptive, and there’s intellectually receptive, and I don’t think they’re the same thing.

    The point about watching a naked woman right in front of you being penetrated and brought to orgasm by her lover with a large phallic machine is that it’s liable to be, for most students, quite arousing.

    I’m happy to look at studies showing that university students learn best when they can’t think of anything but how they’re dying to play hide the salami. I don’t know of any such studies.

  3. DM Says:

    The full ruling is available here:

    It is fairly harsh against Ms Calvo-Goller.

    The court basically says 1) she engaged in “forum-shopping” (“forum-shopping” in English in the text), and did so in bad faith, since she is an expert in law and cannot ignore what “forum-shopping” 2) even if a French court was competent, whatever Mr Weiler wrote clearly fell within normal scientific criticism to which any academic author is exposed.

    I think she can appeal, but there is a risk that the court of appeal would rule even more in her disfavour.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Many thanks, DM. Given that she persisted in her lawsuit against all reason, I fear she will simply keep going and appeal. Of course she will lose the appeal and end up owing Weiler yet more money, but that means Weiler’s nightmare will not be over yet.

  5. francofou Says:

    Well, yes, assuming learning was an issue.
    The man does what he wants in class, always aware of the limits of academic freedom. He would have been wise to clear this segment with his department just to avoid problems.
    More important: some curriculum committee approved this instructor, this course and its description/syllabus. They should bear some of the responsibility.

  6. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Plus he gets NU money for his extracurriculars.

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