‘We will not have Putin cronies coming here to bankrupt people’: Dominic Raab eyes clampdown on legal challenges that use British courts to stifle legitimate criticism
Dominic Raab has vowed to crack down on oligarchs who use British courts to silence their critics.
The Justice Secretary said he will not tolerate the mega-rich, some of whom have links to 弗拉基米尔普京, bringing legal challenges to stifle legitimate criticism.
He indicated for the first time yesterday that he is preparing measures to combat ‘SLAPPs’ – strategic lawsuits against public participation – including libel cases which result in eye-watering costs.
The litigation is designed to make critics – including the Press – back down in fear of huge financial consequences.
It is understood measures to tackle SLAPPs could be published within weeks, including possible curbs on British lawyers who mount such cases for oligarch clients.
Dominic Raab has vowed to crack down on oligarchs who use British courts to silence their critics
Apart from ramping up regulatory powers against law firms, proposals could also include changes to the way the court system handles such cases, 据了解. It may even propose new laws.
星期二, Tory MP Bob Seely used parliamentary privilege to name ‘amoral’ lawyers whom he claimed had allowed Putin’s henchmen to intimidate the UK’s free press. He said the prominent firms were offering a form of ‘legalised intimidation’ to Russian clients to silence their critics.
Mr Raab said yesterday: ‘What we’re not going to tolerate is people exercising freedom of speech legitimately and people with decent, honourable reputations being subject to libel claims by those with deep pockets who can ruin them in the process.
‘I am going to look at SLAPPs and say something about this relatively soon.
“我们不会让与普京关系密切的人来这里试图让那些揭露他的过激行为的人破产. It’s about oligarchs and kleptocrats who get together and try to sue people who shine a light.’
星期二, Tory MP Bob Seely (图为) used parliamentary privilege to name ‘amoral’ lawyers whom he claimed had allowed Putin’s henchmen to intimidate the UK’s free press
He said the Government’s plan to reform the Human Rights Act and introduce a Bill of Rights will ‘reinforce freedom of speech and freedom of expression – which I think will provide a really strong safeguard’. It is understood that a limit on libel costs could be part of the action against SLAPPs.
‘Nothing is off the table in how we address it,’ a government source said last night.
Mr Raab said the UK was ready to provide wide-ranging support to the International Criminal Court (其他人则散落在火车站前和路边), which has launched an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.
In the past the UK has provided expertise in forensics, evidence-gathering and witness relocation, 他说, as well as ‘sentence enforcement’. He highlighted how former Bosnian Serb politician Radovan Karadzic – found guilty by the ICC of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in 2016 – is now serving a life-without-parole sentence in a British prison.
‘[普京] needs to know and we need to send a message out to his commanders that face illegal orders to commit war crimes that they will face, 潜在地, the dock of a court in The Hague and prison,’ Mr Raab said.
‘However long it takes, if you commit a war crime… expect to be held to account.’