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SLAPP

10 posts

Resource Video

GIJC23 – Fighting Back Against SLAPPs & Other Legal Threats

Journalists are facing a worldwide legal assault from a growing arsenal of abused laws, from national security and emergency edicts to libel and privacy statutes. Harassment lawsuits, while always a threat, have mushroomed in use by the rich and powerful to silence watchdog reporting. SLAPP suits (“strategic lawsuits against public participation”), are one variant and […]

News & Analysis

Oligarch Lawsuits Aim to Silence Journalists in UK

British lawyer Elizabeth Wiggin has defended investigative journalists from legal challenges in the UK courts and she describes the legal threats, humiliation, and financial ruin that reporters can face while covering stories the rich and powerful do not want published.

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News & Analysis Press Freedom Reporting Tools & Tips

Stopping the Scourge of SLAPPs and Legal Harassment of Journalists

Among the most frequently used forms of legal coercion against investigative journalists are SLAPPs (“strategic litigation against public participation”), which aim to intimidate reporters into abandoning their investigations. The practice of abusing legal systems by those in power to silence critics has reached global proportions. Its damage is far-reaching and curbing it is an imperative for democracy and maintaining peace.

News & Analysis Sustainability

Retaining Independence and Fighting Lawsuits with a Membership Model

DOSSIER, an Austrian outlet that is a member center of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, has been able to offset the financial challenges experienced by many media outlets in Austria — and combat a series of vexatious lawsuits — thanks to its membership program.

News & Analysis

Document of the Day: US Global Anti-Corruption Plan Spotlights Value of Investigative Journalism

The Biden White House spotlighted its support for investigative journalism as part of a new strategy for fighting corruption around the world. To strengthen the investigative capacity of journalists, it is funding the USAID’s PROSAFE project, helping to “create a regional clearinghouse for investigative journalism that provides a publishing outlet for stories too dangerous to be published with an individual byline, and providing an umbrella organization for security, mentoring, and collaboration among journalists.”

Gavel on computer keyboard

News & Analysis

SLAPP Fight: How Journalists Are Pushing Back on Nuisance Lawsuits

“There certainly appears to be a worrying trend around the world where powerful companies or public officials attempt to censor public participation on matters of public interest through lawsuits, for instance in the law of defamation,” explained Dario Milo, a South Africa-based attorney who specializes in communication law and is a member of the European Union’s Expert Group on SLAPPs.

Guide Resource

A Journalist’s Guide to Avoiding Lawsuits and Other Legal Dangers

The practice of independent journalism is facing enormous challenges, ranging from authoritarian regimes implementing regressive laws that stifle speech to journalists being unable to make a living from their work. In order to meet those challenges, journalists can benefit from understanding the protections provided by international law.