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ECPMF Expert Talk on Anti SLAPP Solutions
November 12 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and other organisations, including EFJ, are organising an expert talk on Anti-SLAPP solutions in Brussels, Belgium. The event will take place on November 12, 2019 from 10:00 – 12:30. Venue: TBC.
This expert talk will bring together journalists, politicians, lawyers and civil society organisations with an expected audience of 20-30 people. It will create a platform to share and gather expertise on potential anti-SLAPP solutions. In the long run, the ECPMF in co-operation with other organisations hopes to convince EU institutions to find mechanisms that would help to limit the abuse of defamation and other laws.
Background information on SLAPPs
The assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia shocked the world. But what is almost as shocking is the fact that her widower and sons are still fighting costly and damaging SLAPP defamation cases against her in the Maltese courts, almost three years after her murder. In the United Kingdom, investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr could lose her home and be made bankrupt by the defamation lawsuit filed by Arron Banks (prominent Leave campaigner Arron Banks), whichPP could see her facing a legal bill of at least one million pounds sterling. For Croatian journalists there is an almost daily battle against vexatious lawsuits. At the end of 2018 there were almost one thousand ongoing defamation lawsuits.
SLAPP lawsuits are used by the rich and powerful to silence journalists and critics and in Europe their use has increased. Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation – known as SLAPPs refer to cases where the plaintiff, often a large corporation or rich politician, initiates legal proceedings against journalists and other critics to stop investigative research, silence criticism or squash political expression. Plaintiffs do not intend to win their cases in the court. They know they have little or no chance of winning. Their aim is to involve journalists and critics in lengthy and costly procedures which ultimately produce a chilling effect. Some SLAPP cases result in financial ruin for the journalists, or cause media outlets to close down.