King’s speech must include standalone anti-SLAPP law

  • 21 Sep 2023

NUJ joins over 60 signatories in calling for urgent legislation to protect journalists.

The National Union of Journalists has co-signed a letter Alex Chalk, justice secretary, seeking government’s commitment to addressing Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) and their impact on the British justice system.

Academics, publishers, and journalists are among those calling for urgent measures to protect media freedom and an end to abusive legal actions designed to intimidate and harass. Despite plans to crackdown on SLAPPs announced in July 2022, the UK government is yet to introduce necessary reforms and standalone legislation. Its amendment to the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill would afford some protections to journalists, although limited in scope to economic crimes.

The King’s speech on 7 November will see the announcement of government’s priorities and legislation in the next parliamentary session. The NUJ believes it is crucial standalone anti-SLAPP Bill is included to protect journalism.

Signatories to the letter collated by the UK anti-SLAPP coalition and published today, include The Guardian, The Times, journalist Carole Cadwalladr and the Society of Editors.

Read the letter in full.



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