Insights Protecting journalists from abusive litigation: European Council formally adopts proposed EU anti-SLAPP Directive


The EU Council has adopted a new law aimed at protecting journalists from abusive legislation (so-called ‘SLAPPs’). We have previously commented upon the progress and substance of this law

In short, the Directive aims to provide “safeguards against manifestly unfounded claims or abusive court proceedings in civil matters with cross-border implications brought against natural and legal persons on account of their engagement in public participation”. It does so by entitling those targeted by SLAPPs to ask the court to dismiss “manifestly unfounded claims” at the earliest possible stage, as well as by granting the power to courts to order the claimant to provide security for costs and, if the proceedings are found to be abusive, to order that the claimant bears the costs of the proceedings. This is in addition to courts being empowered to impose penalties on the claimant.

The Directive will enter into force twenty days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, after which Member States shall have two years to transpose the law into their national legislation.

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