The long-running claim, brought by Serbian businessman Stanko Subotic, related to five articles published in the Balkans in 2010 which reported on comments made about him by Mr Knezevic, a former head of the Montenegrin trade mission to Washington. Mr Justice Dingemans accepted the submissions of David Price QC that the lawsuit was an abuse of process and that the circulation of the articles in England and Wales, on the Claimant’s own evidence, had been insignificant. He ruled that it is impossible to say that the extent of the publication, and the loss and effect on his reputation in England and Wales, is worth the candle of pursuing this litigation. He added that “the claim really has nothing to do with his reputation in England and Wales and everything to do with his reputation in the Balkans”.
David Price QC said: “It does mark the end of libel tourism, which means people picking England because of our laws and procedure and not because the case has any real connection with England. It is a precursor to the Defamation Act 2013, which will require all claimants to prove serious harm to their reputations. This will be much more difficult for foreign claimants.”