Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) in the European Union. A Comparative Study

332 Pages Posted: 12 May 2022

See all articles by Judit Bayer

Judit Bayer

Budapest Business School

Petra Bard

Radboud University; Central European University (CEU)

Lina Vosyliūtė

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

Chun Luk

University of Aruba; Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

Date Written: June 30, 2021

Abstract

The European Commission has added the issue of Strategic Lawsuit(s) against Public Participation (SLAPP or SLAPPs) onto its legislative agenda for 2021. In particular, the European Democracy Action Plan targets SLAPP phenomenon.2 This study aims to shed light on the legal environment of SLAPP in the European Union and its Member States. This includes an overview of the legislative environment and court practices relevant to SLAPP. The study also analyses specific cases of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the context of SLAPP. Moreover, an assessment is made of how democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights are interconnected with the issue of SLAPP.

SLAPP cases impose a chilling effect on the free press and the work of civil society organisations. Investigative journalism contributes to the fight against corruption, fraud, clientelism, and other illegal actions or anomalies which have a negative effect on national economies and the EU budget. The effect produced by SLAPP cases discourages inquiry and disclosure which could otherwise lead to a better enforcement of EU law.

The study builds on the results of a previous, preliminary paper by the same research team.3 The researchers used a three-step data collection methodology: 1) a preliminary survey from civil society to map the major issues across the EU, 2) qualitative expert country notes produced by a network of academics and legal practitioners covering all 27 EU Member States, and 3) a focus group discussion to identify solutions at the EU level to the most complex issues.

Keywords: SLAPP, Freedom of Press, Defamation, Protection of Journalists

Suggested Citation

Bayer, Judit and Bard, Petra and Vosyliūtė, Lina and Luk, Ngo Chun, Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) in the European Union. A Comparative Study (June 30, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4092013 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4092013

Judit Bayer (Contact Author)

Budapest Business School

Buzogány utca 10-12
Budapest, H-1149
Hungary

Petra Bard

Radboud University ( email )

Nijmegen, 6500KK
Netherlands

Central European University (CEU) ( email )

Nador utca 9
Budapest, H-1051
Hungary

Lina Vosyliūtė

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) ( email )

1 Place du Congres, 1000
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

Ngo Chun Luk

University of Aruba ( email )

J. Irausquinplein 4
Aruba

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) ( email )

1 Place du Congres, 1000
Brussels, Brussels Capital Region 1000
Belgium
+3222293989 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ceps.eu

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
604
Abstract Views
1,488
Rank
81,155
PlumX Metrics