The Malta Independent 19 December 2018, Wednesday

EP expected to adopt resolution calling on Commission to consider anti-SLAPP measures

Kevin Schembri Orland Monday, 16 April 2018, 17:45 Last update: about 9 months ago

The European Parliament expected to adopt a resolution calling on the European Commission to consider concrete measures against SLAPP lawsuits, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani has said.

SLAPP lawsuits refer to Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, in other words when entities shop around for foreign jurisdictions to bring lawsuits against individuals worth exorbitant financial damages in an attempt to silence and intimidate. The legal fees associated in fighting such a lawsuit are enough to force an individual to back down. A number of Maltese media houses were threatened by such lawsuits in the recent past.

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President Tajani gave comments marking six months since the brutal assassination of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

“Six months have passed since the brutal killing of Daphne, a fellow journalist seeking truth, denouncing abuses of power and corruption. Those who allegedly pushed the button are in police custody, but we know nothing of the motive and the mind behind. Daphne's killing is an offence to freedom of expression and hence to our European democracy. We said it and we will say it again: we will not rest until justice is done with Daphne.”

 “On Thursday the European Parliament is expected to adopt a resolution on the protection of investigative journalists, calling on the Commission to consider concrete measures also against intimidatory law-suits (SLAPP) like the ones used to threaten Daphne into silence. We will act with Daphne in mind. Her courage will long be an inspiration for journalists and decision-makers the world over,” President Tajani said.

In addition to this, this newsroom recently reported that MEPs from across political parties have signed a letter to European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans requesting that he introduce anti-SLAPP legislation with urgency. Timmermans has also been called on to attend hearing at the European Parliament on anti-SLAPP legislation, PN MEP David Casa had told The Malta Independent on Sunday.

This event is being organised by David Casa in collaboration with MEPs from all political groups and international journalist associations.

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