New EU rules ensure protection for journalists and media outlets from strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs)

Roberta Metsola greets Daphne Caruana Galizia's parents. European Parliament file photo.

European Parliament adopts ‘Daphne’s Law’

The European Parliament has recently achieved a significant milestone, with an overwhelming 87.5% of MEPs voting in favor of a proposed directive aimed at safeguarding journalists and human rights activists from abusive cross-border civil proceedings, commonly referred to as Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) 1 . The directive, known as Daphne’s Law, is a tribute to the late Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was the victim of such lawsuits. This legislative initiative seeks to empower judges to identify SLAPPs and facilitate their early dismissal, thereby sparing the targeted journalists or activists from the burden of defending against baseless claims brought in bad faith with the primary intent of harassment 1 . This progressive step by the European Parliament is a testament to the commitment to upholding the freedom of the press and ensuring the protection of individuals who courageously promote human rights and expose truth.

https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/en/webstreaming/event_20240227-1500-SPECIAL-PRESSER?start=240227140025&end=240227141332&audio=en

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