Lawsuits Against Public Participation and the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act

Peter Coe considers why sections 194 and 195 of the Act, which were introduced to tackle SLAPPs that feature economic crimes, are potentially problematic.

The Law Building

SLAPPs are the subject of an intense and polarised debate between critics concerned that there is a pressing ‘SLAPP problem’ that threatens free speech, and opponents who contend that the so-called ‘SLAPP problem’ has been overstated. Unfortunately, there is no legal definition of a SLAPP, and there are no official statistics on SLAPP cases in the UK or in Europe. In fact, the European Court of Human Rights first used the term ‘SLAPP’ only as recently as 2022 in OOO Memo v Russia. This absence of concrete evidence of the extent of SLAPPs is unsurprising. This is because SLAPPs that progress to formal legal proceedings, and which are therefore easier to identify and quantify, are the tip of the iceberg (hence why I tend to refer, in this post, to instigators and targets rather than claimants and defendants).... Read full article