The first of its kind in Malta: Training for lawyers to Defend Victims of SLAPPs

This week aditus foundation, together with the Chamber of Advocates, held a training for lawyers to defend victims of Strategic litigation against public participation (SLAPPs). This three-hour workshop, a first of its kind in Malta, used both local and European practitioners and academics to examine existing local and European legislation that can be used by practising lawyers to defends journalists and media organisations, NGOs and activists when threatened or faced with a SLAPP.

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SMART Goals To Strengthen Access to Justice for Improved Human Rights Protection

The Strengthening Access to Justice for Improved Human Rights Protection project aims to improve access to Justice where fundamental human rights issues arise, with a particular emphasis on vulnerable or marginalised groups. However how does one turn seemingly intangible aims into practical goals that can be achieved? What is it really that we want to achieve? How is the rule of law linked to the enjoyment of rights for individuals?

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The European Commission’s Proposed Model Law on Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs) – How Far Does It Go?

Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs) are commonly identified as abusive lawsuits that are used as a particular form of harassment used primarily against journalists and human rights defenders. SLAPPs can be manifestly unfounded claims, or they could also present other forms of abuse, where the claim is not unfounded but there is an exaggerated use of legal procedures or other aspects of the legal system to harass and deter the person being litigated against.

The assasination of Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017 sparked called from civil society activists and a group of European MEPs to call on the EU Commisssion to draft an anti-SLAPP directive. At the time of her assasination, she had 47 libel suits, including one in the United States, and she had recieved multiple threats from London-based law firms. A recent report by the Coalition Against SLAPPs in Europe (CASE) found that Malta had the highest rate of SLAPPs per capita, whilst it also noted that the number of SLAPP cases across Europe have been increasing year on year.

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Survey: Access to Justice for Marginalised Groups

Help us identify, prioritise and tackle institutional obstacles that stand between individuals and their enjoyment of fundamental rights within the local justice system by filling out this short survey. We wish to collect data to access to justice for marginalised and vulnerable, including migrants, victims of crime, disabled and LGBTIQ individuals groups in Malta.

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Two Steps foward, One Step Back

The European Commission 2021 Rule of Law Report Country Chapter on the Rule of Law Situation in Malta

According to the 2021 Rule of Law Report Country Chapter on the Rule of Law Situation in Malta, Malta has made significant progress within the domestic justice system particularly with regard to the reform of judicial appointments and judicial discipline, and also the appointment of the Chief Justice, in fact the level or perceived independence has increased and this in view of enhancing judicial independence and subsequently facilitating access to justice. The main legislative changes that addressed these issues were highlighted in another post Venice Commission: regrets that 6 Bills adopted before opinion could be finalised, before it could engage with the national stakeholders.

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