The concept of strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) is increasingly relevant to those in practice. They arise principally in the form of actions for defamation but the description can be applied to any lawsuit that has been brought for the purpose of deterring scrutiny or criticism rather than truly seeking relief. The costs of defending SLAPPs can be ruinous. The threat of potential SLAPPs amount to a significant interference with fundamental rights & democratic values, in particular freedom of expression. There is widespread recognition that a legislative response is needed. The European Commission has recently proposed a Directive that aims to equip both national courts & those targeted by SLAPPs to take action against manifestly unfounded or abusive court proceedings, with legislative initiatives also proposed in England & Wales, Ireland & elsewhere. Our panel will consider not only the wider effects of both SLAPPs themselves & proposed anti-SLAPP legislation but also the implications for individual practitioners & the ethical obligation to abide by the “cab rank rule”, as well as the particular problem arising where the United Kingdom’s accession to the Lugano Convention has been blocked, preventing the UK courts in certain cases from declining jurisdiction based on clear reciprocal rules & thus creating an attractive forum for those seeking to initiate abusive proceedings.
Speakers: Greg Callus (5RB), Dr Roya Sangi (Redeker), Nick Vineall QC (4 Pump Court), Paul McGarry SC (Bar of Ireland)
SEMINAR TO BE FOLLOWED BY A DRINKS RECEPTION
To register in person, please click on: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/strategic-lawsuits-against-public-participation-slapps-tickets-363984175467
To attend remotely, please register on: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/7816558254352/WN_Rpmg57DGR6y7S3BtKiJ3rQ