CASE goes undercover!

CASE undercover mission

There are quite a few phrases that we’d rather not hear and “You will be sued” is definitely one of them. On 27 November, CASE sent one of our top secret agents on a special mission to the European Parliament. Several Members of the European Parliament received a concerning letter. A law firm infamous for its ruthless tactics and shark lawyers threatened politicians with a lawsuit. Details below: 

You might have realised by now that it’s a prank. But doesn’t have to be. Buller&Belligerence does not exist (though the name would suit perfectly those engaging in abusive litigation) but farcical legal threats very much do – and routinely form the basis of a malicious claim aimed at silencing critical voices. 

Deep pockets and an influential position too often prompt far-fetched accusations that can amount to drawn-out legal proceedings and steep legal fees. SLAPPs continue to mushroom across Europe, becoming one of the favourite tools to stamp out dissenting voices, hinder publications of important investigations and spread the atmosphere of fear. SLAPPs pose a fundamental threat to our democracy and must be treated accordingly, with utmost seriousness. 

You think it does not concern you? That you didn’t do anything wrong? That you have a right to express opinions and be vocal on issues of public interest? In theory yes, but are you ready to test this in court against an armed-up Goliath who doesn’t like inconvenient truths being unearthed? Consult a pamphlet below to realise that as long as we don’t have a strong anti-SLAPP law anyone can be indicted ridiculously easily. 

We organise an urgent roundtable on the anti-SLAPP Directive. Join us on 28 November at 12:00 noon CET.

The trilogue negotiations that will determine the final text of an EU-wide anti-SLAPP law are coming to a close. We reiterate the alarm that, in the absence of certain key provisions, the anti-SLAPP Directive will fail to counteract the growing problem of SLAPPs in the EU.

The crucial provisions include: 

  • a strong early dismissal mechanism for all SLAPPs
  • clear definition of cross-border cases
  • Compensation of damages. 

A directive in its current form lacks meaningful safeguards. If enacted, it would not make any material change for journalists, activists and other public watchdogs. Aggressive letters with absurd accusations would remain a legitimate threat and not a preposterous joke as they should be. 


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