freedom of expression

27 Sep: Censorship through litigation.

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team. 

Despite international conventions and European legislation promoting, and protecting, freedom of expression and of pluralistic media, there are increasing concerns over the use of certain legal instruments to restrict transparency. Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) are now being routinely used against citizens and public watchdogs to stifle freedoms, democracy and the rule of law, within the European Union. 

The American term ‘SLAPP’ refers to the quashing of criticism and political debate through the manipulation and transformation of a public dispute into a private legal case – where the defendants …