Brussels Anti-SLAPP Legal training: Experiences from the PATFox Project

On 28 February 2023, the PATFox’s consortium organised a conference Anti-SLAPP Legal training: Experiences from the PATFox Project, at the premises of the European Parliament. The project Pioneering anti-SLAPP Training for Freedom of Expression (PATFox), co- funded by the European Commission, is pioneering the Europe’s first anti-SLAPP training, upskilling the lawyers representing journalists and human rights defenders against those litigating to shut down legitimate criticism in 11 EU member states (Spain, Germany, Malta, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia, Cyprus, Poland and Slovenia). aditus foundation is the Malta partner of the PATFox Consortium.

A first series of anti-SLAPP trainings for lawyers have been conducted across the European Union between the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023. The Malta training event was held in January 2023, Dr Michael Zammit Maempel, a local media law expert, carried out the local training component and developed the local curriculum.

Prof. Dr.  Maria Krambia Kapardis, from CUT, Anuška from Open, and Yana from MDC, together with Ivan from Memo’98 introduced the issue of SLAPPs in their national context and Tomáš Langer, attorney at law, gave input as a practising lawyer in the field. Sando from CIJ Hu and Sanja, GONG, discussed the difficulties in responding to hostile external environments in Hungary and Croatia together with practising lawyers Bea Bodrogi and Vanja Jurić. Whilst Philipp from Blueprint for Free Speech, attorney Dr. Nadine Dining, and Alessia from FIBGAR explored SLAPPs in connecttion with environmental activism and human rights defenders.

Carla, aditus assistant director, together with Michael Zammit Maempel, gave their input on the building of an anti-SLAPP defence network in the local and European context. They were joined on the panel by Ana from OKO, Polish attorney at law Krzysztof Pluta and Cristina from CJI.

Carla CAMILLERI & Michael ZAMMIT MAEMPEL on Building Defence Network Panel

The Brussels event, hosted by MEP Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, the Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), was occasion to showcase the draft curriculum and the Curriculum Hub, as well as share initial insights from the first local workshops and engage in a discussion on anti-SLAPP initiatives. The event was closed by an address from the European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.