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Tag: SLAPPs (Page 1 of 2)

SLAPPs, Serious Harm, and the Defamation Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 – Ciaran O’Shiel and Tim Carson

While coverage of strategic lawsuits against public participation, or SLAPPs, has been amplified by several high-profile defamation actions in the UK and US in recent months, public discourse on the topic has been gathering pace since the assassination, in October 2017, of the investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who, at the time of her death, had 47 open defamation cases in progress against her. Continue reading

The Devil in the Detail? The Government’s Response on SLAPPs and clause 4 of the Bill of Rights Bill – Mark Hanna

Just what exactly is the Government proposing in its recently published Response to the Call for Evidence on Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs)? As one commentator on this forum has pointed out, the ‘devil is in the detail’ of the Response, and the suggested reforms raise ‘more questions than answers’. This is not to question the existence of SLAPPs, or to cast aspersions on the sudden willingness for public debate on the issue. Continue reading

A SLAPP-up Meal for Journalists and a Dog’s Breakfast for the Rest: The Government’s ‘Opening Salvo’ Against SLAPPs – Paul Wragg

Back in March, exercising rare concern for those exploited by the super-rich, the government issued an ‘urgent call for evidence’ that promised, based upon ‘third party and anecdotal evidence’ [42], ‘quick and effective’ action against Strategic Litigation against Public Participation (“SLAPPs”). Continue reading

SLAPPs: Government Response to Call for Evidence, More Questions than Answers

On 20 July 2022 the Government published its response to the call for evidence on Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation [pdf] with a Foreword by Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab.   This document summarises the evidence on each of the 45 questions posed in the “Call for Evidence” and sets out the Government response to each one.   It is a disappointing document which includes no clear concrete proposals and is, in important respects, wholly inadequate. Continue reading

SLAPPs: An All-Too Real Problem – Charlie Holt, Susan Coughtrie and Jessica Ni Mhainin

In his post of 25 May 2022 Iain Wilson asked whether Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) are “a real problem or a defendant’s wildcard”. As co-chairs of the UK Working Group on SLAPPs we are regularly confronted with the all-too real effects of SLAPPs on public watchdogs – those, such as journalists and activists, whose role it is to hold the powerful to account. The problem with responding to Iain Wilson’s claims of exaggeration, however, is that we ultimately have to address a counterfactual: what information would have been published had it not been subject to a  SLAPP? Continue reading

Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation: a few thoughts – Peter Coe

In October and November last year I wrote an article for The Conversation and Inforrm on Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, or SLAPPs. Since then I have been invited to join the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on SLAPPs, I have given oral and written evidence to a Justice Committee on SLAPPs, and I have given my views on SLAPPs to the Ministry of Justice in response to its Call for Evidence. Continue reading

The Press is obliged to make good, not do good: why the crime-busting myth harms the SLAPPs debate, or why we need section 40, Crime and Courts Act – Paul Wragg

We need to do away with these libel laws, says Meirion Jones in The Guardian, because they only protect evildoers and they stop us, the press, from bringing them to justice. I can reveal, he continued, that The Sun could have brought Jimmy Savile to justice in 2008 but the threat of libel action meant that all the testimony they collected was wasted and so, since the chance of a scoop was gone, they did nothing with it… Continue reading

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