Survey on Legal Actions, Legal Threats, and SLAPPs Against Civil Society and Public Watchdogs
Principal investigator: Dr Francesca Farrington
Co-investigators: Prof. Justin Borg-Barthet (School of Law, University of Aberdeen) and Nik Sunil Williams (Index on Censorship)
What is the purpose of the study?
The purpose of the study is to collect information on the level and types of legal risk associated with engaging in civil society or public watchdog activities in Scotland. The study collects information on (a) the perceived level of risk associated with participating in civil society activities (b) any instances in which such participation has resulted in legal action or a threat of legal action and (c) any legal safeguards the respondent is aware of or perceives as necessary to reduce the level of risk exposure.
Who can take part?
We invite responses from journalists, media professionals, fiction and non-fiction writers, academics, human rights defenders and environmental campaigners engaging with public-interest matters in Scotland.
What does taking part involve?
You will be asked to respond to a survey comprised of four sections and 42 questions in total. Before completing the survey, you will view a participant information sheet and asked to complete a consent form. If you consent to participating you will proceed to the survey. The first section collects information on the type of civil society or public watchdog activities you are engaged in. No personal data (e.g., name, address or telephone number) is collected at this point or throughout the duration of the survey. Information relating to age, gender, ethnicity, and disability are collected in section 3. The body of the survey – section 2 – asks questions relating to the perception of legal risk associated with your civil society activities, whether you have been the subject of a legal action or threat of legal action as a result of your engagement in civil society activities, and whether there are any legal safeguards you are aware of or perceives as necessary to reduce your level of risk exposure.
If you are interested in taking part, please email firstname.lastname@example.org