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Anti-SLAPP laws help prevent abuse of the legal system when an individual or organization tries to silence someone by launching an expensive lawsuit (usually defamation) against them. Such lawsuits are termed “SLAPPs” – strategic lawsuits against public participation.

News February 22, 2019

BPC Bulletin: B.C. Legislature Considers Anti-SLAPP Bill

News Reports and Commentary Selected by Franklin Carter of the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee   In Victoria, the B.C. legislature heard the first reading of Bill 2 — the Protection of Public Participation Act — on February 13, 2019. The bill, which was introduced by Attorney General David Eby, seeks to curtail costly and meritless lawsuits that stifle public debate.
News March 8, 2018

CFE and 44 other organizations welcomes BC anti-slapp commitment

VANCOUVER, BC, Coast Salish Territories. The Centre for Free Expression joined with 44 other organizations in welcoming the BC Attorney General’s commitment to enact legislation to protect British Columbians from strategic lawsuits against public participation, or SLAPP suits. A SLAPP suit refers to a lawsuit filed against individuals or organizations participating in public debate as a means of silencing them.
Blog May 29, 2017

Ontario’s Anti-SLAPP law: off to a good start, but important concerns remain

[Co-written with Andrea Gonsalves and Carlo Di Carlo] In late 2015, the Ontario Legislature identified a problem:  it saw an increasing number of defamation cases in which the plaintiff’s goal was not to obtain compensation, but instead to drag a defendant into interminable and costly litigation as a form of retribution against the defendant for speaking out against the plaintiff.
Blog March 27, 2017

Component Parts of Effective Anti-SLAPP Legislation

Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (“SLAPPs”) are when Big Resources (private or public sector) sue Little Resources (individuals, non-profit organizations) in order to silence them.  If the person or organization being sued (often for defamation) can’t afford to fight the case, they are effectively prevented from speaking out on the subject that got them SLAPP’ed. The case may be weak or even ludicrous, but the merits of the case don’t matter if you can’t afford to defend yourself in court.