Strategic Litigation—A New Phenomenon in Civil Litigation?

Since the Millennium, public interest litigation has become a growing phenomenon in civil courts. Activists and NGOs are bringing civil lawsuits in order to promote societal and political change. Typical examples are (business and) human rights claims, environmental claims, climate change litigation but also cartel damage claims. However, targeted defendants are equally developing litigation strategies, including litigation communication. An additional, currently much discussed example are SLAPP, strategic lawsuits against public participation—libel lawsuits brought against journalists, media and other stakeholders of the civil society in order to deter them from making investigations. The class will primarily focus on civil actions but equally look at recent developments at constitutional and international courts. We will explore whether and to what extent this type of litigation changes civil litigation in general.

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