FREEDOM UNDER LAW / UNIVERSITY OF STELLENBOSCH DEPARTMENT OF JOURNALISM on STRATEGIC LITIGATION AGAINST PUBLIC PARTICIPATION: INAUGURAL LECTURE DELIVERED BY DARIO MILO ON 27 JULY 2023, STELLENBOSCH
There has been increasing awareness in South African legal circles of the role of so-called SLAPP lawsuits or, Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation. Such cases are defined as using a legal case to deter people from speaking out on important issues. Often, they involve corporations or other wealthy and powerful institutions taking advantage of unequal financial resources to intimidate those who would criticise or speak out against the entities bringing the case thus stifling debate and restricting free speech. They represent an abuse of process and an undermining of the tenets of justice and fairness which are core to any democracy.
Speaking at the Inaugural Freedom Under Law and Stellenbosch Journalism Department lecture ( The Role of the Judiciary, the Media and Parliament in Slapping Back. – Freedom Under Law), renowned attorney Dario Milo discussed the role of the judiciary, the media and parliament in countering SLAPP suits. As one of the country’s leading media lawyers and a member of the Global Media Freedom Initiative’s high level panel of legal experts, Milo is an authoritative voice on this issue, and his lecture on a chilly Stellenbosch evening offered important perspectives on the history of SLAPP litigation in South Africa, as well as insightful suggestions on how to respond to it.
Click here to read the full SLAPP speech.