European Commission launches public consultation on measures to be taken against abusive litigation against journalists
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on EU action against abusive litigation targeting journalists (Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation -SLAPP).
The consultation, announced on Monday, will feed into the next initiative against SLAPP, which will be presented by the Commission, as announced in the EU Democracy Action Plan
Vice-president Věra Jourova, noted: “Daphne Caruana Galizia had 47 abusive lawsuits known as SLAPP at the time of her assassination. Journalists and rights defenders should be the watchdogs of our democracies, not legally harassed for holding those in power in check.
Public consultation will help us understand what we need to do to protect them. “ Justice Commissioner, Didier Reynders, added: “SLAPP is a threat to democratic values and fundamental rights.
SLAPPs abuse legal and judicial systems to censor, intimidate and silence journalists and rights defenders. The Commission’s initiative will tackle this threat and help ensure that the checks and balances of a healthy democracy work.
The anti-SLAPP initiative is part of an action plan which noted that such practices are increasingly used in many member states, in an environment where hostile activities against journalists are on the rise. Citizens, journalists, Member States, NGOs, civil society, judges, legal professionals are invited to speak.
The public consultation will be open until 10 January 2022. The Commission recently adopted a recommendation and will continue its actions to protect media freedom and pluralism with its work on a new European law on media freedom.
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