This Act adopts the Uniform Public Expression Protection Act ("the Act") authored by the Uniform Law Commission. The Uniform Law Commission “provides states with non-partisan, well-conceived and well-drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law.” The Act was adopted by the Uniform Law Commission in October 2020 and has been adopted in 7 states, including New Jersey, and is currently pending in 9 states, including Pennsylvania.
The Act protects the public’s right to engage in activities protected by the First Amendment without abusive, expensive legal retaliation. Specifically, the Act combats the problem of strategic lawsuits against public participation, also called “SLAPPs.” A SLAPP may come in the form of a defamation, invasion of privacy, nuisance, or other claim, but its real goal is to entangle the defendant of a SLAPP in expensive litigation and stifle the ability to engage in constitutionally protected activities. While Delaware has an “anti-SLAPP” law (see §§ 8136 through 8138 of Title 10 of the Delaware Code), the law received a score of “D-“ from the Institute for Free Speech due to limited types of speech it protects and lack of basic protections provided by the Act.

Statutes affected:
Original Text: 10.8136, 10.8137, 10.8138