Anti-SLAPPs legislation moves one step closer to reality
Legislation to stop the world’s super-rich exploiting the legal system to silence their critics through SLAPPs has taken one step closer to reality this week.
What are SLAPPS?
An acronym for strategic lawsuits against public participation, SLAPPS are essentially legal actions where the desired outcome is the silencing of the speaker and any other opposing voices. They can be initiated by the elite, by large corporations, powerful individuals and the targets tend to be the media, activists, civil societies, academics or anyone else who voices an opinion that is deemed unsavoury by the upper echelons.
At a two day conference organised by the anti-SLAPP coalition of media and free speech groups, Junior Justice Minister Mike Freer MP announced that an early dismissal process of cases judged to be SLAPPS will be introduced into statute with the aim of cutting short and reducing costs of cases which have no merit to progress. While no timeline has been confirmed as yet, Freer committed to confirming this legislation will be introduced, ‘as soon as parliamentary time allows.’
Jamie Patton, Managing Director of Johnson Law Group said; “The aim of this legislation will be to stop big corporations using litigation as a tool to silence those who wish to question or challenge their actions.
“This will hopefully be a positive thing for consumer rights and an individual’s ability to challenge the treatment they have received by companies and organisations that have historically relied on aggressive litigious practices to silence their critics.”