Last week the Justice Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister, Dominic Raab, set out the Government's proposals to tackle strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs), often known as "lawfare".
SLAPPs can be characterised as an abuse of the legal process, where the primary objective is to harass, intimidate and financially and psychologically exhaust one’s opponent via improper means. They can be directed at a variety of targets, such as authors, editors, publishers and regulators.
In recent times journalists have been intimidated with respect to Russian oligarchs. For example, journalist Catherine Belton had a SLAPP brought against her by several Russian oligarchs, over her book 'Putin's People', leaving her with facing legal costs of £1.5 million.
And at a local level, journalists and campaigners have received legal letters to try to stop them from shining a light on environmental issues in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
I was glad that the Justice Secretary confirmed to me that he will take whatever steps are necessary to support and uphold our fundamental liberties of a free press and free speech.