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27 Feb 2024

Nathalie Weatherald, Euractiv,

EU: European Parliament approves Anti-SLAPP Directive to safeguard journalists and human rights defenders

Image: Guillaume Périgois via Unsplash

"Anti-SLAPP law get final seal of approval from EU Parliament," 27 February 2024

The European Parliament approved with an overwhelming majority a law protecting journalists and human rights advocates from abusive legal proceedings designed to stifle freedom of speech, marking the end of a six-year push to get the law across the line.

The directive... sets a minimum standard for protecting media and public watchdogs from strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) across the EU.

The final text includes provisions on early dismissal of manifestly unfounded cases, a broad definition of what constitutes a ‘cross-border’ case, and provides for compensatory damages for the defendant.

EU institutions reached a political agreement on the directive in November. ...

The Anti-SLAPP Directive is colloquially known as Daphne’s Law, named after Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who was assassinated in 2017 and faced over 40 lawsuits at the time of her death. ...

EU countries will have until 2026 to implement the directive.