On July 20, the UK Ministry of Justice issued a Government Response to the Call for Evidence about SLAPP legislation. The Ministry is “moving decisively to stamp out SLAPPs” by creating reforms. These include a proposed “new statutory early dismissal process to stop these cases in their tracks – allowing judges to throw out claims that lack merit.” This dismissal process includes a three-part test: (1) Assess if the case is against activity in the public interest; (2) Examine evidence of abuse of process; and (3) Review if the case has a realistic prospect of success. The Ministry is also working with the Civil Procedure Rule Committee to cap litigation costs in SLAPP cases. The Ministry further said that “these reforms are just the opening salvo against SLAPPs.” The Alliance applauds the UK’s strides towards protecting against SLAPP suits, which provide critical protection for a strong, independent press—free from coercion by meritless lawsuits. Read more.
Members of the News/Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.