Focus on SLAPP

New forms of abusive lawsuits and the (lacking) response of States to anti-SLAPP measures 

 

Media, politics, and vexatious lawsuits - An Italian perspective

31/08/2023

An excerpt from the 2023 MFRR Summit dedicated to “Press Freedom on the Line” - which took place from the 29 to the 31 of March dedicated to the spreading of the SLAPP phenomenon in Italy. Recently, Italy has drawn the attention of several international organisations working on media freedom. A cause for concern is the rapid succession of defamation lawsuits and subsequent legal proceedings against Italian journalists and intellectuals brought up by politicians and high-ranking public figures. By exploring the case study of Italian newspaper Domani – which in a matter of months has been respectively threatened to be sued and sued by two high profile public figures – the discussion focused on defamation, SLAPPs, and the challenges Italian media face when reporting on public figures.

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BiH: Republika Srpska reintroduces the crime of defamation

24/07/2023

On Thursday 20 July, the People's Assembly of the Republika Srpska adopted the Law on Amendments to the Crimial Code envisaging criminalization of defamation. Calls from international and local actors to protect freedom of speech and withdraw the scandalous provision that qualifies defamation as a criminal offense have gone unheeded

By Arman Fazlić

Originally published by OBCT. Also available in ITA and BHS

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Sara Manisera: the challenges of investigative journalism

05/06/2023

Investigative journalists, in addition to the risks of the trade, often incur libel lawsuits, SLAPPs, etc.. Especially if, like Sara Manisera, they deal with sensitive issues such as organised crime. We interviewed her

By Sielke Kelner

Originally published by OBCT, also available in ITA

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Weaponizing GDPR: How EU data protection threatens press freedom in Greece

17/04/2023

The instrumental use of EU data protection threatens press freedom in Greece. The case of journalist Stavroula Poulimeni and the independent media outlet Alterthess, sentenced in the first instance to pay compensation of 3,000 euros to Efstathios Lialos, executive of the Hellas Gold gold mine

Originally published by OBCT, also available in ITA

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Republika Srpska, the criminalisation of defamation and the squeeze on media freedom

28/03/2023

The parliament of Republika Srpska approved in the first instance a bill to amend the criminal code which reintroduces the crime of defamation. Now sixty days of public debate and then back to the assembly. A dangerous step backwards for freedom of expression

By Arman Fazlić

Originally published by OBCT, also available in ITA and BHS

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SLAPP in Bulgaria, record claim against Mediapool

21/03/2023

A record claim for compensation against Bulgarian online newspaper Mediapool, "guilty" of bringing the problems of the insurance sector to public attention. A trial brings the SLAPP issue back under the spotlight in Bulgaria, between fears and professional solidarity

By Francesco Martino

Originally published by OBCT, also available in ITA

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South Tyrol, the information monopoly and a new case of SLAPP

15/03/2023

The Bolzano Salto.bz web portal has received a claim for damages for 150,000 Euros from the South Tyrol publishing giant Athesia. According to defence attorney Nicola Canestrini, it is a clear case of SLAPP, a gag complaint

By Paola Rosà

Originally published by OBCT, also available in ITA

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SLAPPs in Bosnia and Herzegovina

23/02/2023

Also in Bosnia and Herzegovina one of the major obstacles to the exercise of the journalistic profession is represented by the so-called SLAPPs, lawsuits seeking to silence or limit the work of journalists and civil rights activists

By Arman Fazlić

Originally published by OBCT, also available in ITA and BHS

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Gag lawsuits, an anti-SLAPP shield is coming

22/11/2022

OCCRP, the transnational investigative journalism platform against crime and corruption, has devised a system to prevent lawsuits, prevent self-censorship, and defend journalists from gag lawsuits – an actual shield in defence of reporters. Drew Sullivan, co-founder of OCCRP, explains it to us

By Paola Rosà

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Italy: a call in support of Roberto Saviano, defendant in a defamation trial

16/11/2022

At the conclusion of the first hearing in the proceedings for aggravated defamation initiated by current Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni against Roberto Saviano in 2021, we express our solidarity with the Italian journalist for his commitment to the public interest

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