The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom
(ECPMF) and the Coalition Against SLAPPs in Europe
(CASE) will organise the European Anti-SLAPP Conference under the patronage of the European Parliament.
20 October, 2022.
Strasbourg. Exact Location TBC.
Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) are 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. The strategy of using fully or partially unfounded lawsuits against journalists force them to invest time, money, and energy into defending themselves in courts. In the last three years, civil society organisations in Europe joined forces to counter SLAPPs which resulted in mobilising the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council of Europe into responding and countering such threats with concrete initiatives.
The aim of the conference is to examine European and national political and other initiatives against SLAPPs, to bring to light its impact on journalism and to discuss available financial and practical support for journalists targeted by SLAPPs.
The conference will bring together CASE coalition members, SLAPP victims, experts, journalists, media professionals, lawyers, policymakers, free speech advocates, academics, ombudspersons, judges, and civil society representatives.
During the conference, the CASE will announce the winners of the second ever European SLAPP Contest. The SLAPP Contest is organised annually by CASE as an opportunity to recognise the most abusive lawsuits and litigants Europe has to offer. Reflecting the wide-ranging impact of SLAPPs, the contest will award powerful individuals and corporations in six different categories: the Corporate Bully of the Year, SLAPP Politician of the Year, Litigation Addict of the Year, Bully Lawyers of the Year, International Bully of the Year, and finally the People’s Choice Award!
09:00 – 09:15
09:15 – 09:25
, Managing Director European Centre for Press and Media Freedom
, Senior Legal Advisor, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom
09:25 – 09:55
, President of the European Parliament
, Vice President, Values and Transparency European Commission (confirmed in principle)
Marija Pejčinović Burić
, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
10:00 – 10:50
Panel 1. – European Initiatives to Counter SLAPPs
European Centre for Press and Media Freedom
, Deputy Head of Unit for Civil Justice in Directorate-General Justice and Consumers of the European Commission
Marie Hélène Boulanger
, Head of Unit, Union Citizenship Rights and Free Movement, DG Justice, European Commission
, Chair of the Council of Europe Expert Committee on Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (MSI-SLP), Lecturer, University of Tartu and Partner at the Law Firm TRINITI, Estonia
, Member of the European Parliament (SPD-S&D), JURI Rapporteur on the Anti-SLAPPs Directive
Rapporteur on “Countering SLAPPs: An Imperative for the Democratic Society,” Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media – Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Austria, SOC)
10:50 – 11:20
11:20 – 12:10
Panel 2. – National Governmental Initiatives to Counter SLAPPs
, Legal Counsel Campaigns, Greenpeace
Representative of Ministry of Justice of Ireland
Representative of Ministry of Justice of Lithuania
Representative of Office of Prime Minister, Malta
Representative of Ministry of Justice of the UK
12:15 – 13:05
Panel 3. – Testimonies from Recent SLAPP Cases and How Media are Dealing with SLAPPs
Matthew Caruana Galizia
, Director, Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation
, EU Observer
, The Guardian
, Gazeta Wyborcza (tbc)
Karl Van den Broeck
, Luhze Newsletter
13:05 – 14:30
Panel 4. – Role of Civil Society Organisations in Fighting Back SLAPPs
, Director, Justice for Journalists
, Prof. em. Human Rights Centre Ghent University, Legal Human Academy and Member of the CoE MSI-SLP Committee on Anti-SLAPP
, Executive Director, Bruno Manser Fund (Switzerland)
, Press Club Concordia (Austria)
, Project Director, Foreign Policy Centre (United Kingdom)
15:20 – 15:50
15:50 – 16:40
Panel 5. – Advocacy and Practical Support for SLAPP Victims
, Project Director, Reporters Without Borders
, Communications and Project Officer, European Federation of Journalists
, Head of the Europe and Central Asia, Article 19
, Committee to Protect Journalists
, Organized Crime & Corruption – Reporting Project (tbc)
16:40 – 17:10
17:10 – 17:40
The European SLAPP Contest Award Ceremony
The CASE announces the winners of the second European SLAPP Contest to recognise the most abusive lawsuits and litigants Europe has to offer. Reflecting the wide-ranging impact of SLAPPs, the contest awards powerful individuals and corporations in six different categories: Corporate Bully of the Year, SLAPP Politician of the Year, Litigation Addict of the Year, Bully Lawyers of the Year International Bully of the Year, and People’s Choice.
17:40 – 18:00
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