Legal Grounds for SLAPPs
The legal grounds on which a person or group may be sued using a SLAPP include:
- means that you cannot say or publish something that hurts the reputation of a person or organisation. In some countries the truth of the statement is a defense, in others defendants also have to prove that the statement was in the public interest. No financial damage has to be proven.
- injurious falsehood
- means that a false statement has been made with malicious intent and has caused economic loss.
Reference: Greg Ogle, 'Chilling the Environment Movement', Australian Options, no. 42, Spring 2005.
- covers any agreement between two or more people to harm a third party using illegal methods such as trespass or defamation. It means that any individual or group that is part of a coalition campaigning on an issue can be held liable for the illegal actions of others in the coalition.
- covers activities causing damage that do not fall into other categories
- invasion of privacy/trespass
- used against protestors that go on to private property to hang a banner or stage a demonstration, or confront employees, or against media information gathering and filming.
- infliction of emotional distress
- interference with contract/business/profits
- contracts can include employment contracts and contracts between suppliers so interference with contracts can include boycotts of products and protest actions that stop work.
- a peculiar Australian charge used against protesters who are accused of intimidating those they are protesting against (see case study).
- Greg Ogle, 'What you can be sued for'