The Anti-Slapp Directive was adopted in the European Parliament

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Source/Author: TUCJ / CASE
Source/Photo: CJA / Canva

At today’s plenary vote in the European Parliament, the Anti-SLAPP Directive was adopted, which sets minimum standards for protection against abusive litigation in the form of SLAPPs, or Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation.

The Anti-SLAPP Coalition in Europe (CASE) welcomed the adoption of the Directive and clarifies that the onus now lies with member states to build on the foundations laid by the Anti-SLAPP Directive and draft effective national legislation that includes:

– A broad scope that covers both domestic SLAPP cases and claims governed by criminal procedural law or in administrative proceedings; Strong safeguards in terms of an early release mechanism to filter out SLAPPs; Safeguards in national damages legislation with special criteria, as well as imposing substantial fines on plaintiffs for using SLAPP to intimidate public supervisors; Non-legal instruments such as support mechanisms, judge/lawyer awareness and training, lawyer ethics, data collection and monitoring of SLAPPs – these instruments are detailed in the Commission’s Anti-SLAPP Recommendations.

CASE analyzed the three most important aspects of the final text of the Anti-SLAPP Directive. These are recommendations for transposition into national legislation: Early dismissal mechanism, Definition of transboundary border and Compensatory damages.

CASE will closely monitor transposition to ensure that these minimum standards are met across Europe and that legislation is drafted in line with the Commission’s Anti-SLAPP Recommendation and the Council of Europe Recommendation on SLAPPs. A positive vote in the plenary session is an important next step in the fight against SLAPPs, but more needs to be done at the member state level to introduce protections against SLAPPs.