Secretary General: standards must be strengthened to tackle legal threats and lawsuits aimed at limiting freedom of expression

Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) is legal threats and lawsuits used by powerful individuals and corporations to limit freedom of expression by intimidating and discouraging journalists from gathering and publishing information on public matters. During the first European Anti-SLAPP conference, Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić said ‘SLAPPs are intended to intimidate, to limit public debate, to prevent the free flow of information and to encourage self-censorship. Their chilling effect spreads not only from lawsuits that have been filed, but from the very prospect that this may happen. Existing legal standards need to be strengthened, and new ones developed and implemented’.