Agenda

Anti-SLAPP Conference Agenda

20 October 2022
09:00 – 18:00


08:45 – 09:00

Registration

09:00 – 09:20

Opening Remarks

Lutz Kinkel, Managing Director European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)
Flutura Kusari, Senior Legal Advisor, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

09:20 – 09:55

Welcoming Remarks

Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament
Věra Jourová, Vice President, Values and Transparency European Commission
Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

10:00 – 10:50

Panel 1 – European Initiatives to Counter SLAPPs

SLAPPS are a problem all over Europe and very often even feature cross-border elements. This makes it vital that solutions are proposed from a multilateral and international perspective. In this panel, members of the European Union, the European Parliament, and the Council of Europe will discuss European initiatives against SLAPPs and their future plans for countering SLAPPs.

Moderator
Flutura Kusari, Senior Legal Advisor, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

Speakers
Karmen Turk, Chair of the Council of Europe Expert Committee on Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (MSI-SLP), Lecturer, University of Tartu and Partner at the Law Firm TRINITI, Estonia
Marie Hélène Boulanger, Head of Unit, Union Citizenship Rights and Free Movement, DG Justice, European Commission
Pia Lindholm, Deputy Head of Unit for Civil Justice in Directorate-General Justice and Consumers of the European Commission
​​Stefan Schennach, Rapporteur on “Countering SLAPPs: An Imperative for the Democratic Society,” Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media – Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Austria, SOC)
Tiemo Wölken, Member of the European Parliament (SPD-S&D), JURI Rapporteur on the Anti-SLAPPs Directive

10:50 – 11:20

Coffee Break

11:20 – 12:10

Panel 2 – National Initiatives to Counter SLAPPs

To counter SLAPPs, it is not enough to raise awareness and fight in the courtroom. It is also necessary for governments to act against them. Recently, some governments have developed initiatives to push back against SLAPPs, but when can we expect concrete results? And what are the best ways to counter SLAPPs from a governmental perspective? In this panel, several national governmental initiatives will be presented and discussed.

Moderator
Charlie Holt, Legal Counsel Campaigns, Greenpeace

Speakers
Andrew Munro, Head of Policy for Civil Justice, Department of Justice, Ireland
Naomi Cachia, Member of the House of Representatives, Malta
Beatriz Brown, Policy Lead – Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs), Ministry of Justice, UK (tbc)
Representative of Ministry of Justice of Lithuania (tbc)

12:15 – 13:05

Panel 3 – Testimonies from Recent SLAPP Cases and How Media are Dealing with SLAPPs

In recent years, SLAPPs have been keeping the courts busy and civil society alert. The topic has become increasingly relevant in media freedom discussions, but how exactly is the media landscape affected by SLAPPs and how are media organisations handling them? Through testimonies from recent SLAPP cases, this panel aims to give journalists the opportunity to raise their voices as one of the groups most affected by SLAPPs.

Moderator
Matthew Caruana Galizia, Director, Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation

Speakers
Gillian Phillips, Director of Editorial Legal Services, The Guardian
Andrew Rettman, Foreign Affairs Journalist, EU Observer
Bram Souffreau, Co-founder, Apache
Piotr Stasiński, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Gazeta Wyborcza
Julia Nebel, Director, Luhze Newspaper

13:05 – 14:30

Lunch Break

14:30 – 15:20

Panel 4 – Role of Civil Society Organisations in Fighting back against SLAPPs

Throughout civil society,  many organisations have put SLAPPs on their agenda as a ubiquitous problem, prevalent in almost every country in the world. But what exactly is their role in fighting back against SLAPPs? This panel tries to provide answers through discussions with members of civil society, experts, and those who have been SLAPPed.

Moderator
Maria Ordzhonikidze, Director, Justice for Journalists

Speakers
Dirk Voorhoof, Prof. em. Human Rights Centre Ghent University, Legal Human Academy and Member of the CoE MSI-SLP Committee on Anti-SLAPP
Lukas Straumann, Executive Director, Bruno Manser Fond (Switzerland)
Susan Coughtrie, Deputy Director, Foreign Policy Centre and co-chair of the UK Anti-SLAPP Coalition (United Kingdom)
Veronika Feicht, Agricultural Policy Campaigner, Umweltinstitut (Germany)
Walter Strobl, Press Club Concordia (Austria)

15:20 – 15:35

Break

15:35 – 16:25

Panel 5 – Advocacy and Practical Support for SLAPP Victims

When someone gets SLAPPed, the impact it has on their work and life can be devastating. However, there are multiple ways in which the victims of SLAPPs can be supported. This panel will focus on advocacy and practical support as tools to back the person or institution concerned, looking at concrete design and implementation of support initiatives, as well as their effectiveness.

Moderator
Julie Majerczak, Representative to the European Institutions, Reporters Without Borders

Speakers
Camille Petit, Communications and Project Officer, European Federation of Journalists
Sarah Clarke, Head of the Europe and Central Asia, ARTICLE 19 Europe
Tom Gibson, EU Representative and Advocacy Manager, Committee to Protect Journalists
Gordana Miladinovic, Member Center Coordinator, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)
Tabea Caspary, Legal Assistant, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom

16:25 – 17:00

Coffee Break

17:00 – 17:30

The European SLAPP Contest Award Ceremony

The CASE announces the winners of the second European SLAPP Contest to recognise the most abusive lawsuits and litigants Europe has to offer. Reflecting the wide-ranging impact of SLAPPs, the contest awards powerful individuals and corporations in six different categories: Corporate Bully of the Year, SLAPP Politician of the Year, Litigation Addict of the Year, Bully Lawyers of the Year International Bully of the Year, and People’s Choice.

17:30 – 18:00

Closing Remarks