Impact | Positive
Probability | Medium
Civicus Rating | Repressed
On September 1, the Senate began the study of a bill that proposes to criminalize the crime of judicial or litigious harassment aimed at curtailing the rights to freedom of expression, information and association. The initiative, promoted by Rodrigo Lara Restrepo and Julio César Triana Quintero, both from the opposition party Cambio Radical, seeks to respond to the dizzying increase in judicial actions against journalists, media, users of social networks, human rights defenders and civil society activists.
In this framework, judicial or litigious harassment is understood as “litigious activity that seeks to censor matters of public interest, without due evidentiary support or acting recklessly, using the judicial system for intimidating or silencing expressions”. What the authors propose is to create Anti-SLAPP mechanisms, that is, to prevent strategic lawsuits against public participation.
The proposal aims to protect the interests of journalists, media and human rights defenders who have been judicially intimidated with the intention of silencing issues of public interest to citizens and to prevent the emergence of environments that favor self-censorship. The project will soon be presented at a public hearing.