Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) are legal threats and lawsuits used by powerful individuals and corporations to limit freedom of expression by intimidating and discouraging journalists from gathering and publishing information on public matters. The strategy of using fully or partially unfounded lawsuits against journalists force them to invest time, money, and energy into defending themselves in courts. In the last three years, civil society organisations in Europe joined forces to counter SLAPPs which resulted in mobilising the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council of Europe into responding and countering such threats with concrete initiatives.

The aim of the conference is to examine European and national political and other initiatives against SLAPPs, to bring to light their impact on journalism and to discuss available financial and practical support for journalists targeted by SLAPPs.

The conference will bring together CASE coalition members, SLAPP victims, experts, journalists, media professionals, lawyers, policymakers, free speech advocates, academics, ombudspersons, judges, and civil society representatives.

During the conference, the CASE will announce the winners of the second ever European SLAPP Contest. The SLAPP Contest is organised annually by CASE as an opportunity to recognise the most abusive lawsuits and litigants Europe has to offer. Reflecting the wide-ranging impact of SLAPPs, the contest will award powerful individuals and corporations in six different categories: the Corporate Bully of the Year, SLAPP Politician of the Year, Litigation Addict of the Year, Bully Lawyers of the Year, International Bully of the Year, and finally the People’s Choice Award!

The conference will be organised with physical presence in Strasbourg and will be livestreamed.

Location: Room 1, Palais de l’Europe, Council of Europe, Strasbourg

Register here .

A full conference agenda is available here .

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Tags: SLAPP Safety of journalists Legal protection

This content is part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response  (MFRR), a Europe-wide mechanism which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries. The project is co-funded by the European Commission.