The CASE coalition, of which the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is a member, took part in public consultations to comment on the Council of Europe’sDraft Recommendation to counter SLAPPs. The EFJ joins CASE in strongly supporting the approval of the text by the Committee of Ministers and will continue supporting CoE’s efforts to curb SLAPPs and to see the draft implemented by its member states.
Through CASE comments, we want to bring attention to sections in the text that we strongly believe should be kept and that, if removed or weakened, can greatly affect the effectiveness of the Draft Recommendation.
In particular, we believe that:
- extra attention should be given to the manner in how SLAPPs are described throughout the text including different strategic aims pursued through abusive litigation to avoid restrictive interpretation;
- more explicit provisions should be included to stipulate the concrete responsibilities and actions to be taken by member states in the implementation process;
- Member States should be recommended to commit to raising awareness about the Draft Recommendations;
- caps or maximum amounts that can be requested as compensation for damages or judicial costs should be included in the text;
- an early dismissal mechanism is a crucial element of any effective anti-SLAPP legislation and thus we welcome its inclusion. The mechanism should continue to be available in later stages of the judicial proceeding;
- alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as meditation should be highlighted as potential means to avoid SLAPPs.
Read the full text here.