SLAPPS: A Threat to Our Freedom of Expression and Our Democracy

March 23, 2023
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Index on Censorship is hosting a hybrid full-day conference on Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs).

When: Thursday 23 March, 9:00 - 18:30 (GMT). Free Registration 
Where: Trinity Long Room Hub Fellow Square Trinity College Dublin 2 Ireland

SLAPPs are brought by powerful and wealthy entities against public watchdogs in an effort to compel them to withhold or remove critical coverage, even if it is accurate and in the public interest.

When SLAPPs successfully drive information out of the public domain, they can make it difficult to hold power to account. SLAPPs threaten not only our freedom of information, but our human rights, our rule of law, and our democracies. The use of this tactic to undermine criticism and evade scrutiny has proliferated globally but Ireland has been identified as a jurisdiction of concern in the EU.

The Conference 

How do SLAPPs work and, crucially, what can we do to stop them? At this full-day conference, attendees will hear from lawyers, journalists, academics, politicians, and campaigners, as well as from keynote speakers, UN Special Rapporteur Mary Lawlor, and human rights campaigner Bill Browder. Full schedule to be announced in due course.

This event is organised by Index on Censorship with support from Justice for Journalists Foundation and in partnership with Schuler Democracy Forum in the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute and Trinity School of Law. The conference will take place in a hybrid format, accessible both online and in-person. To get updates on speakers and sessions, please subscribe to Index on Censorship’s newsletter.