libel chill


Also found in: Dictionary.

libel chill

The silencing effect that the threat of a libel lawsuit can have on those who would be sued if they continue such speech. The whistleblower's silence after being threatened with a lawsuit by her former company is a classic case of libel chill.
See also: chill, libel
References in periodicals archive ?
CJFE Executive Director Tom Henheffer said in an email interview that libel chill has intensified because "newsrooms have fewer and fewer resources, meaning they have less money for lawyers and as such are less likely to run a story if it could result in a potential lawsuit.
Libel chill affects journalists because "it makes them less likely to aggressively pursue investigative pieces that are crucial to the public interest," said Henheffer.
Further, the threat of libel chill is greater than it might otherwise be because of the power of corporations in the twenty-first century and the demonstrated willingness of some of them to use defamation law to chill and punish critics for speech with little regard to whether the speech is actually defamatory.
This case comment sets out the state of Canadian defamation law prior to the Supreme Court's creation of the public interest responsible communication defence and explains the Court's "libel chill" rationale underlying its adoption of the new defence.
Sullivan Reconsidered]; Michael Massing, The Libel Chill: How Cold is it Out There?, COLUM.
Some say it was libel chill, the fear of spending money on legal defences, which kept the lid on Mulroney.
The fear of such an eventuality could result in libel chill.
So much so that journalists now speak of a libel chill.