An investigation into the chilling effect of vexatious lawsuits targeting journalists

The focus of this project is to provide an insight into the extent to which journalists and media outlets in Europe are being affected by a type of vexatious legal action known as a Slapp – a strategic lawsuit against public participation.

Slapps are used by powerful actors (including corporations, public officials, high-profile businesspeople) in an attempt to stop individuals or organisations from expressing critical views on issues of public interest. Although they are disguised as ordinary civil claims, such as defamation or privacy, they are not intended to succeed in court. Instead, their goal is to saddle critics with prohibitively expensive, time-consuming, and nerve-wracking legal processes.

Slapps threaten not only freedom of expression and media freedom, but access to information, rule of law, and our very democracy.




Model Anti-SLAPP law

The UK Anti-SLAPP Coalition has drawn up this model law in consultation with senior lawyers

Letter to UK Justice Secretary...

Editors, journalists, lawyers and academics write to Dominic Raab to express support for the Model UK Anti-SLAPP Law launched by the UK Anti-SLAPP Coalition

REPORT: Slapped Down

Six journalists speak about the legal efforts to silence them over their reporting


If you are a journalist, use our interactive tool to find out whether you are likely to be subject to a SLAPP



SLAPPS: A Threat to Our Freedom of Expression and Our Democracy

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="120663" img_size="full" onclick="custom_link" link=""][vc_column_text] Strategic lawsuits against public...

Twenty-four organisations express solidarity with the Swedish media outlet Realtid

Index among those bodies supporting journalists ahead of the first hearing in their UK defamation case

Over 60 editors, journalists, writers, publishers and experts call on the UK Government to commit to a standalone anti-SLAPP law

The UK Anti-SLAPP Coalition, of which Index is a co-chair, has co-ordinated and sent a letter to the Government ahead of the King’s Speech on 7 November

Daphne Caruana Galizia: Four years on from her murder, Malta must be held to account

Index joins the Maltese community, Reporters without Borders, PEN International and others to mark grim anniversary

Contents – Whistleblowers: the lifeblood of democracy

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Index's new issue of the magazine looks at the importance of whistleblowers in upholding our democracies. Featured are stories such as the case of Reality Winner, written by her sister Brittany. Despite being released from prison,...

Index condemns lawsuit against Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins

21 organisations say lawsuit issued by Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin is a SLAPP

Index and 21 other organisations condemn lawsuits brought by ENRC against public watchdogs

Lawsuits represent an egregious attempt to curtail freedom of expression and jeopardise anti-corruption efforts

Contents – China’s global brand: a century of silencing dissent

Index looks back on 100 years of the Chinese Communist Party and how their censorship laws continue to shape the lives of people around the world and threaten their right to free speech. Inside this edition are articles by exiled writer Ma Jian and an interview with...

Urgent action is needed to defend our media

As the 2021 Council of Europe Platform report is published, Index on Censorship and its partners call for the urgent implementation of the report’s recommendations

Index condemns lawsuits brought by ENRC against Tom Burgis

We join with 14 other organisations to condemn legal action against the journalist, the Financial Times and HarperCollins in London