A group of regulators, including the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Bar Standards Board, Law Society and Bar Council have joined a UK government taskforce formed to address strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) and protect public interest journalism.
The taskforce includes legal regulators, representative bodies, media organizations, and free speech organizations. It aims to commission research on the prevalence of SLAPPs against journalists and explore measures to prevent or mitigate them.
It also plans to develop specialized training for judges and law professionals to identify and dismiss SLAPPs more easily, as well as provide guidance for journalists and publications. The Ministry of Justice has already introduced measures to tackle SLAPPs related to economic crime, and further legislation is planned to address SLAPPs outside of economic crime. The taskforce will report progress to the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists.