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Article

31 May 2022

Author:
Burkhard Hess, Max Planck Institute

New book: Strategic Litigation: A New Phenomenon in Dispute Resolution

"Strategic Litigation: A New Phenomenon in Dispute Resolution", May 2022

Strategic litigation describes the phenomenon of lawsuits brought by civil society actors (activists and NGOs) in order to promote legal, political or social change. Prominent examples are business human rights and climate change litigation, where parallel lawsuits are filed in different fora at the domestic and at the international level.

The paper addresses the procedural challenges of strategic litigation: the linkage of public interests with individual cases, the relationship of the different actors, the communication strategies surrounding the lawsuits. It gives specific attention to SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation), which has become the flipside of strategic litigation. It analyses the legislative proposals against SLAPP, which the EU Commission presented on 27 April 2022, COM(2022)177 final.