Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) are on the rise internationally and they pose a significant threat to freedom of expression, media freedom and other human rights. In countries without specific legislative protection against SLAPPs, the courts can play a crucial role in ensuring that SLAPPs do not prevent the exercise of fundamental rights, do not limit the vital role civil society play, and do not shrink civic space.
To better understand how SLAPPs are manifesting in different jurisdictions and how courts are responding to them, ARTICLE 19 reviewed selected case law collected in the Global Freedom of Expression Database. The study focused on whether courts recognise the danger posed by SLAPPs and whether and how they assess SLAPP cases to ascertain some basic trends from selected cases.
This event will discuss the general findings of the reports, responses by international bodies, and identify gaps that require stronger protection against SLAPPs be adopted on international, regional, and national levels.
Additionally, UNESCO will discuss the application of defamation laws in the context of SLAPPs as documented in their recent report on the Misuse of the Judicial System to Attack Freedom of Expression.
Barbora Bukovská, ARTICLE 19
Mehdi Benchelah, UNESCO
Ginna Anderson, American Bar Association Center for Human Rights and Justice Defenders Program
Sponsored by Columbia GFoE, ARTICLE 19, and UNESCO
Venue: MLK Conference Room 527, Riverside Church, Columbia University
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