"Australia needs an anti- SLAPP Statute"
- Category: SLAPP - Strategic lawsuit against public participation
- Created: Monday, 12 January 2015 15:05
- Written by Alecomm2
SLAPP suits are Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. It is a run-around of the ICCPR, by abusing the procedures of the court system to silence critics. By entangling your opponent in expensive litigation you can effectively silence your opponent even if you know you don't have any shot at winning the lawsuit. The point of a SLAPP suit is not to win, it's to silence and intimidate.*
The conceptual thread that binds [SLAPPs] is that they are suits without substantial merit that are brought by private interests to "stop citizens from exercising their political rights or to punish them for having done so"...The longer the litigation can be stretched out, the more litigation that can be churned, the greater the expense that is inflicted and the closer the SLAPP filer moves to success. The purpose of such gamesmanship ranges from simple retribution for past activism to discouraging future activism.*
Here are some quick highlights about a federal (and state) Anti-SLAPP statute which could be codified:
- The statue allows a judge to dismiss frivolous lawsuits filed against one who speaks out about a “matter of public concern” within the first 60 days. “Matter of public concern” is defined expansively in the statute.
- The Anti-SLAPP motion is supported by affidavits explaining to the court that the lawsuit is based on, relates to, or is in response to one’s exercise of his right to free speech, right to petition or right of association.