Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) are one tactic used by business actors to stop people raising concerns about their practices. SLAPPs can take the form of criminal or civil lawsuits brought to intimidate, bankrupt and silence critics. This hub brings together the latest news and resources on SLAPPs, our database with examples of cases that bear the hallmarks of SLAPPs, and our related analyses.

Human rights defenders are at the forefront of peacefully promoting and protecting our human rights, natural resources and shared planet, as well as playing a vital role in calling out the harm created by irresponsible business practices. Protecting these defenders’ freedom of expression and association is crucial to our democracies, transparency in markets and protection of workers and communities.

Every day across the globe, defenders who bravely speak out against injustice face a range of attacks for the mere reason of raising concerns about human rights risks and harms associated with business practices. Strategic lawsuits against public participation, criminal or civil lawsuits brought or initiated by business actors to intimidate critics, are one form of attack that defenders face. The tactic can drain the resources of community members, environmental advocates and journalists who speak out in support of human rights and the environment and have a broader chilling effect, deterring others from speaking out against risks or abuse.