On 24 February 2020, Greenpeace will organize an event with regard to strategic lawsuits against public participation in which companies sue public watchdogs as a means of intimidation (SLAPPs). Students of the Amsterdam Law Clinic conducted research for Greenpeace with regard to SLAPPs. Invitation:
“The way we won these cases... is not by spending all of Reynolds' money, but by making the
other son of a bitch spend all of his.”
- R J Reynolds Tobacco Company internal memo, 1993
“I spent a couple of bucks on legal fees, and they spent a whole lot more. I did it to make his life miserable, which I’m happy about"
- Donald Trump on his lawsuit against author Timothy O’Brien, 2006
Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) - lawsuits filed by private parties as a means of silencing criticism - are increasingly impeding the work of journalists, activists, advocacy groups and other public watchdogs across Europe. Environmental and human rights groups face financially ruinous legal action for exposing corporate misdeeds. Journalists and newspapers are harassed and threatened for publishing critical articles. Sexual abuse victims find themselves in court for exposing the crimes of their perpetrators.
Sued into Silence: Privatised Censorship and the Rise of SLAPPs will tell the stories of those who have been victimised by this legal intimidation. Through in-person interviews, video testimonials and visual displays we will explore how the problem manifests itself across the continent and how it affects the way newspapers, NGOs, and activists operate. In so doing, we will seek to identify what factors give rise to SLAPPs in Europe – and what exactly we can do to fight back.
Featuring Matthew Caruana Galizia, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has faced such SLAPPs while fighting for justice for his mother Daphne Caruana Galizia (who had 47 libel lawsuits pending against her at the time of her assassination); Jennifer Robinson, a UK barrister who has advised on a range of free speech issues - including as an advisor to the UN on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and as an advisor to Wikileaks and Julian Assange; Lorena Ruiz-Huerta, a Greenpeace lawyer and former spokesperson to the Spanish political party Podemos, who is currently defending herself from a lawsuit after speaking out against police maltreatment; and many more voices from across Europe.
Admission to the event is free but we ask that participants register in advance using this link: