Huge Legal Victory for Environmental Activism in South Africa

A series of defamation lawsuits brought by Australian mining company Mineral Commodities Ltd (MRC) and its local subsidiary, against six environmental activists, is an abuse of the legal process, the South African High Court has ruled. MRC and its subsidiary sued the defendants for approximately U.S.$ 980 000. In her judgment, Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath found that SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) was a viable defence for the activists and public interest lawyers against the mining companies' claims. As the environmental and climate justice movement grows in response to the climate crisis and ecological breakdown, environmental activists who criticise corporations that contribute to climate change and destruction of biodiversity are facing growing threats and intimidation. The defendants in this case have hailed the judgment as a victory for free speech.

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