Publication Date: May 2020
Research and Editorial Team: Petra Bárd, Judit Bayer, Ngo Chun Luk and Lina Vosyliute Coordinated by Sergio Carrera, CEPS

In its 5 chapters and 6 case studies, this report highlights the challenges to freedom of expression and European democracy, analysing also the legal and non-legal tools used in a SLAPP-related context.

From the key findings: "A free and functional press, especially investigative journalism, is a cornerstoneof all democracies. It is also a basic pillar of European integration. SLAPP cases interfere with these values and prevent citizens from engaging in a meaningful debate on public issues. SLAPP cases also interfere with fundamental rights of individuals, such as freedom of expression and freedom to receive information. The common European rules (Brussels I Regulation (recast) and Rome II Regulation) are based on the mutual trust between Member States. In case of tort (damages claims), Brussels I Regulation (recast) allows the plaintiff to choose the jurisdiction flexibly. The choice of law rules made an exception to defamation cases; therefore, plaintiffs have extensive choice of applicable law. As there are significant differences in both the procedural and substantive rules of defamation among Member States, vexatious litigants are able to leverage the legal regime to their advantage and against public participation".

Case studies include Croatia, Italy, Malta, Poland, Hungary and France.

Tags: SLAPP European policies and legislation Croatia Italy Malta Hungary France

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