Sunday, February 6, 2011

Law Tips for Bloggers (Part III)


Strategic litigation against public participation (SLAPP) has been defined as a lawsuit started against one or more people or groups who speak out or take a position on an issue of public interest. The action is spurious and frivolous because the typical SLAPP plaintiff does not care whether he wins the lawsuit, and often knows he has no chance of prevailing. The plaintiff's goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. As a bonus, if the SLAPP plaintiff can garner notice in the media, or even among the defendant’s circle, a SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate.


* Anti-SLAPP Advisory Panel
--/Ministry of the Attorney General for the Province of Ontario/

Key elements of the panel’s findings and recommendations include:

- threats of lawsuits for speaking out on matters of public interest, combined with a number of actual lawsuits, deter significant numbers of people from participating in discussions on such matters;

- Ontario should enact legislation against the use of legal processes that affect people’s ability or willingness to express views or take action on matters of public interest;

- the purpose of legislation should be to expand the democratic benefits of broad participation in public affairs and to reduce the risk that such participation will be unduly hampered by fear of legal action;

- the courts should dismiss a lawsuit where there would be a clearly disproportionate impact on freedom of expression on a matter of public interest if the suit went ahead;

- legislation should apply to anyone in any civil litigation. The value of public participation is not restricted to the poor or to individuals.

~ The Attorney General will review the report and the recommendations of the panel. Public input is still welcome and can be provided to the ministry at: or by regular mail:

SLAPP Suggestions
720 Bay Street, 7th floor
Toronto, ON
M7A 2S9

~ Read more:
* Strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) /Wikipedia/;
* Defamation and SLAPPs - University of Ottawa
--/The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC)/
* SLAPPs & other abusive lawsuits
--/Uniform Law Conference of Canada - Civil Section/;
Bill 10 - 2001; Protection of Public Participation Act
--/2001 Legislative Session: 5th Session, 36th Parliament/;

* BC Introduces Anti-SLAPP Legislation: Should Alberta SLAPP Back as Well?* Greenpeace supports need for strong anti-SLAPP legislation in Ontario;* Ontario needs an anti-SLAPP law to protect peaceful protesters: panel;
Greenpeace Submission to the Advisory Panel on Anti-SLAPP Legislation;
Greenpeace pamphlet: Ethical Companies don’t SLAPP people around. -


->>> Reference posts:
- Law Tips for Bloggers (Part I) /Burden of Proof in a Civil Lawsuit/,
Law Tips for Bloggers (Part II) /Defamation Law/,
- Constitutional Law: 'Freedom of Expression in Canada',- Taking responsibility for your blog comments,
- Ugo Matulić's response to Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Donald C. Robinson & Paul C. H. Robinson, - Ugo Matulić's response to yet another "Notice of Libel" by Kinsman Robinson Galleries & - CEASE AND COPYRIGHT.-

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