Training Lawyers to Defend Victims of SLAPPs  (Strategic litigation against public participation)

In January 2023, aditus foundation together with the Chamber of Advocates Malta, will be offering training to lawyers defending journalists and media organisations, NGOs and activists, against companies and governmental figures using lawfare to shut down legitimate criticism.

The training is being carried out within the ambit of the Pioneering anti-SLAPP Training for Freedom of Expression (PATFox) project is co-funded by the European Commission-DG Justice.

Participation is free of charge.  Seating capacity is limited.

Objective of the workshop:

  • To enhance the knowledge of SLAPPs, freedom of information and existing legal instruments in Malta to combat SLAPPs;
  • To raise awareness among lawyers about current local and EU legislative proposals on SLAPPs;
  • To sharpen the participants skills around SLAPP lawyering, specifically SLAPP defense, in local courts.

Target audience: 

  • Lawyers and other legal professionals working in Malta, who have had experience defending in SLAPP cases and those who are interested in learning about it;
  • In-house lawyers working with media organisations and civil society organisations.

Prof Justin Borg-Barthet is a scholar of EU law and private international law. He is a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group Against SLAPP, and advised the European Parliament and the Coalition Against SLAPPs in Europe (CASE) on the introduction of anti-SLAPP legislation in the EU. With Dr Linda Ravo and Prof Xandra Kramer, he is a co-author of the Model Anti-SLAPP Directive which provided the basis for the proposed EU Directive.

Dr Erin Ferguson is a public law scholar with expertise in transparency and freedom of information. Her work explores the effects of privatisation on the taxonomy of public-private matters in public law. She has pioneered the freedom of information and subject access request dimension of anti-SLAPP training in the EU with a view to enabling practitioners better to pre-empt and respond to potential vexatious judicial proceedings.

Dr. Michael Zammit Maempel is a practicing lawyer specialised in Intellectual Property, Media, Freedom of Expression and Technology law. He is a graduate of the University of Malta and Queen Mary University of London, from where he read for his Masters degree in Computers & Communications Law. As part of his practice he holds the role of project manager with MITLA, the Malta IT Law Association, on a number of EU-funded research projects involving privacy and human rights law. Michael advises one of Malta’s key media houses, and has also served as Company Secretary to the Board of Directors of that company. He is particularly passionate about the regulation of internet content and the protection of free speech on digital platforms.

aditus forms part of the PATFox consortium that aims to provide 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).