Publication Date: June 2021
Research and Editorial Team: Justin BORG-BARTHET, Benedetta LOBINA, Magdalena ZABROCKA

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee, analyses legal definitions of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) and assesses the compatibility of anti-SLAPP legislation with EU law. It is recommended that an anti-SLAPP Directive should be adopted, and that the Brussels Ia Regulation and Rome II Regulation should be recast to limit the incidence of SLAPPs.

The author, Senior Lecturer in EU Law and Private International Law at the Centre for Private International Law of the University of Aberdeen, argues that in addition to the adoption of an anti-SLAPP Directive, it is recommended that the Brussels Ia Regulation concerning jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments be recast with a view to adopting a specific rule concerning defamation claims, and thereby to distinguish jurisdiction in defamation cases from ordinary torts. This would restrict the availability of opportunities for forum shopping arising from the Regulation as presently framed.

To this end, it is recommended that jurisdiction should be grounded in the forum of the defendant’s domicile, unless the parties agree otherwise. This would enable public interest speakers to foresee where they will be expected to defend themselves, and would be in keeping with the core values of the Brussels Ia Regulation, namely predictability and the limitation of forum shopping.


The content of this article can be used according to the terms of Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) . To do so use the the wording "this article was originally published on the Resource Centre on Media Freedom in Europe" including a direct active link to the original article page.