SLAPP cases – a perversion of rule of law

SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) cases are increasingly being used to silence critical voices. Examples include Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was murdered in 2017, or Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa. The only objective of these strategic yet baseless lawsuits is to intimidate, harass and silence those who dare to speak out. The targeted individuals must read the file, hire a lawyer, appear in court, defend themselves against related smear campaigns. Sometimes, even their bank accounts are frozen. All of this takes away the time and means to do their valuable work.

But the insidious nature of SLAPP cases extends beyond the personal suffering of the victims. These lawsuits also place an immense burden on already strained judicial systems and undermine trust in the legal system.

Today we adopted a report on this issue with great majority:

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