New anti-SLAPP laws in British Columbia

Excellent news: it is now much more dangerous for legal bullies to SLAPP anyone in my neck of the woods (British Columbia, Canada). A SLAPP lawsuit is a frivilous lawsuit crafted just to “silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.” In BC, new “economic disincentives” means SLAPP suits are likely to get so expensive for the perpetrators that it defeats their nefarious purposes.

Unfortunately, certain American states, Northern Ireland, and Scotland are the main threats for any web publisher dealing with controversial subject matter. These are jurisdictions that are unusually friendly to plaintiffs with libel claims, that still don’t have anti-SLAPP laws. This is the cause of the “libel tourism” phenomenon. Fortunately, England and Wales are much less of a threat since 2014, thanks to the Sense About Science campaign , but Scotland and Ireland remain hotbeds of libel tourism. And even without true libel tourism, it’s still possible for legal bullies to argue that anything on a globally available website is relevant in their jurisdiction.

So, the more places have anti-SLAPP laws the better!