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Unsafe for scrutiny – International Anti-Corruption Day event

Unsafe for scrutiny: How the misuse of the UK’s financial and legal systems to facilitate corruption undermines the freedom and safety of investigative journalists around the world.


This webinar, held on International Anti-Corruption Day, will launch the Foreign Policy Centre’s latest publication in the Unsafe for Scrutiny series, which will examine the impact that the UK’s continued role as a key facilitator of global financial crime and corruption has on investigative journalists and media freedom around the world.

As highlighted by the findings a recent FPC global survey of journalists working to uncover financial crime and corruption, the UK not only features highly in their investigations (61% of respondents reported finding a link with UK jurisdictions), but is also a significant source of legal challenges against them. Of the 63 respondents in 41 countries, 73% reported receiving communication(s) threatening legal action (often referred to as SLAPPS – strategic litigation against public participation) as a result of information they had published. The respondents pointed to the UK as the highest international source of these legal challenges – almost as high as EU countries and the US combined.

In this webinar, kindly supported by the Justice for Journalists Foundation, we will hear from affected journalists about their experiences as well as anti-corruption campaigners who will explore the effectiveness of current UK anti-corruption initiatives and what further measures need to be taken. Since the UK made media freedom and safety of journalists a global priority in 2019, the panellists will also discuss what action should be taken by UK government to prevent journalists from being unfairly threatened by UK law, provide better access to information held in the UK relevant for their investigations, and support respect for media freedom in their home countries.

Publication details:

This event will launch a new collection of essays from journalists as well as anti-corruption and media freedom experts, edited by FPC Project Director Susan Coughtrie. Contributing authors include: investigative journalists Clare Rewcastle Brown (The Sawak Report, UK/Malaysia); Peter Sabo (, Slovakia); Pavla Holcová (, the Czech Republic); Mika Velikhovsky (, Russia); Alina Radu (Editor in Chief of Ziarul de Garda, Moldova); as well as Rachel Davies Teka, Head of Advocacy and Ben Cowdock Investigations Lead at Transparency International UK; Nik Williams, Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) Coordinator, Laurence Hueting, Advocacy Officer and Paulina Milewska, SLAPPs Researcher at the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF); and Jessica Ní Mhainín, Senior Policy Research and Advocacy Officer at Index on Censorship.

Listen to an audio recording of the event below and you can watch the video of the event here.


When December 9, 2020 5:00pm-6:30pm

The event will take place on Zoom.


Clare Rewcastle Brown, UK journalist at The Sarawak Report

Pavla Holcová, Czech journalist, Founder of and Editor for Central Europe at OCCRP

Ben Cowdock, Investigations Lead at Transparency International UK

Susan Coughtrie, Project Director at the Foreign Policy Centre

Chair: Nigel Mills MP, Co-Chair of the APPG on Anti-Corruption and Responsible Tax

Listen to an audio recording of the event here.

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