News Media Europe applauds the procedural safeguards on strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) proposed by the European Commission. Co-legislators should absolutely maintain a broad definition of SLAPPs (Chapter I), the early dismissal of intimidation lawsuits (Chapter III), the dissuasive financial measures against abusive claimants (Chapter IV) and the refusal to enforce SLAPPs from third countries (Chapter V). We believe these principles will have a deterring effect on the authors of SLAPPs, provided they are considered as minimum standards. Any amendment should aim for a higher level of protection.
However, we strongly encourage co-legislators to better protect press publishers who are repeated victims of SLAPPs, either as direct targets or as journalists’ representatives in legal proceedings. Our recommendations are practical and fully consider the right to a fair trial on the one hand (Article 47 of the Charter) and freedom of expression and information on the other (Article 11 of the Charter). Find our case studies here.