Malta must honour Daphne's Law

27 February 2024

We welcome the European Parliament’s adoption of the anti-SLAPP directive known as Daphne’s Law, setting minimum standards for protecting journalists and other public watchdogs against abusive litigation across the EU.

Malta must now transpose Daphne’s Law into national legislation as a first step to ensuring that abusers will no longer be able to weaponise the law to silence their critics. The legislation must be designed to close off any opportunity for the legal system to be abused and the enactment of legislation must be accompanied by measures such as training of the judiciary and lawyers, in line with the European Commission’s anti-SLAPP Recommendation and the upcoming Council of Europe Recommendation, to ensure the system of anti-SLAPP protection is robust.

Daphne’s Law was brought about by a coalition of the willing in Malta and beyond, inspired by the horrific experience of Daphne Caruana Galizia who faced 48 abusive lawsuits at the time of her assassination, some of which are still active more than six years after her death. In September 2021, Malta had promised to be the first European country to introduce anti-SLAPP legislation. It is now up to our government to make this happen. We believe that this is achievable without compromising the spirit and standards of Daphne’s Law.