Jurisdiction in On-line Defamation and Violations of Privacy: In Search of a Right Balance

Jerca Kramberger Škerl


This article will address the rules of EU private international law regarding the international jurisdiction in defamation and the violations of the right to privacy committed via the internet. Being that there is no common conflict of laws rule regarding these issues and a number of different courts hold jurisdiction, great efforts are being taken to prevent the so called ‘forum shopping’, or, as regards to defamation, ‘libel tourism’. It is namely very hard to strike a fair balance between the procedural rights of both parties, since this is strongly connected with striking a balance between the freedom of speech, on one hand, and personality rights, on the other, all of which are fundamental rights. During the internet era, the problems regarding cross-border issues on defamation and privacy cases rose to a whole new dimension. The interpretation of the traditional connecting factor, the place where the harmful event occurred, became very difficult. Over the years, the Court of Justice of the EU has issued several milestone judgments interpreting Article 7(2) of the Brussels I Recast Regulation in such a way that the particularities of violations committed via the internet are taken into account.


defamation, personality rights, privacy, jurisdiction • private international law, libel tourism, forum shopping, Brussels I Recast, torts, delicts

Full Text:



Ardia, D. S. (2013) Freedom of Speech, Defamation, and Injunctions, William and Mary Law Review, 55(1) pp. 0–59.

Auda, A. G. R. A (2016) Proposed Solution to the Problem of Libel Tourism, Journal of Private International Law, 12(1), pp. 106–131.

Galič, A. (2012) Pristojnost v nepogodbenih odškodninskih sporih. Pravni letopis 2012, Inštitut za primerjalno pravo pri Pravni fakulteti v Ljubljani, pp. 9–27.

Kuipers, J.-J. (2011) Towards a European Approach in the Cross-Border Infringement of Personality Righst, German Law Journal, 12(8), pp. 1681–1706.

Little, L. E. (2012) Internet Defamation, Freedom of Expression, and the Lessons of Private International Law for the United States, Yearbook of Private International Law, 14, pp. 1–36.

Meier, F. M. (2016) Unification of choice-of-law ruels for defamation claims, Journal of Private International Law, 12(3), pp. 492–520.

Mežnar, Š. (2004) Predlog uredbe o kolizijskih pravilih za nepogodbene obligacijske obveznosti (t. i. Rimska II uredba), Evro Pravna praksa, 2(4), pp. 23–28 (Supplement pp. I–VI).

Mežnar, Š. (2006) Odškodnina kot kazen na primeru medijskih kršitev – zakaj (ne)?. In: Seliškar Toš, M. (ed.). Izbrane teme civilnega prava: zbornik Inštituta za primerjalno pravo pri Pravni fakulteti v Ljubljani (Ljubljana: Inštitut za primerjalno pravo pri Pravni fakulteti) pp. 77–91.

Mežnar, Š. (2013) Začetek konca spletnih komentarjev?: ob sodbi ESČP v zadevi Delfi proti Estoniji, Pravna praksa, 32(46), pp. 6–8.

Mežnar, Š. (2008) Novejši trendi v odškodninskem pravu, Podjetje in delo, 34(6–7), pp. 1284–1293.

Mills, A. (2015) The law applicable to cross-border defamation on social media: whose law governs free speech in ‘Facebookistan’?, Journal of Media Law, https://www.peacepalacelibrary.nl/ebooks/files/394296249.pdf (accessed on 3 December 2017).

Možina, D. (2002) Forum delicti commissi v internetu, Pravnik, 57(9–10, pp. 509–532.

Nielsen, P. A. (2013) Libel Tourism; English and EU Private International Law, Joural of Private International Law, 9(2), pp. 269–288.

Ten Tolde, M., Knot, J.-G. Weller, M. (2012) Art. 5 Nr. 3. In: Simons, Thomas, Hausmann, Rainer (eds.). Brüssel I-Verordnung, Kommentar zur VO (EG) 44/2001 und zum Übereinkommen von Lugano (München: IPR Verlag GmbH), pp. 252–275


  • There are currently no refbacks.