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주제어: 봉쇄소송, 전략적 봉쇄소송, 공공 참여, 위축 효과, 청원권, 언론의 자유, 손해배상, 반봉쇄소송법, 조기각하, 약식판단, 역봉쇄소송


A Study on the Regulations of

the Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation(SLAPP)


Kim, Jong-Seo

Professor, Paichai Univ.



Citizens are being sued, simply for exercising the right to communicate their view to our government officials, to speak out on public issues. Both individual and groups are routinely being sued for multimillion-dollars damage actions for such political activities as circulating a petition, writing a letter to the president opposing a political appointments, testifying at a public hearing, reporting violations of law, peacefully demonstrating, or otherwise attempting to influence government action.

This new breed of lawsuits is called SLAPP, an acronym for “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.” To qualify as a SLAPP, a lawsuit has to involve communications made to influence a governmental action or outcome, which result in a civil complaint or counterclaim filed against nongovernment individuals or organizations on a substantive issue of some public interest or social significance.

Even though most of such suits fail in court, they often succeed in the real world by silencing citizens and groups, with potentially grave consequences for representative democracy. Many people who heard of the SLAPPs will never again participate freely and confidently in the public issues and governance of their community or country. That is exactly what the SLAPP filers are aiming at.

Because of the chilling effect of SLAPPs on communications, more than 20 states in the USA, including Washington, New York, California and Minnesota, have adopted anti-SLAPP laws since 1989. Anti-SLAPP laws allow the SLAPP targets to be immune from civil liability on claims based on the communications of public interest, providing for reimbursement of targets' costs and their attorneys' fees, and permitting targets to countersue for compensatory and even punitive damages.

The purpose of this article is to carry out the following tasks:

1)Examining how SLAPP works and affects the democratic fundamental rights of the citizens;

2) Inquiring into how the courts have managed the SLAPP cases;

3) Explaining and comparing anti-SLAPP laws of several states; and

4)Making investigation into whether American anti-SLAPP law system might be applicable to Korean situation.



Key words: SLAPP, Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, public participation, chilling effect, the right to petition, freedom of speech, civil lawsuit, damage, attorney's fee, anti-SLAPP law, motion to strike, summary judgment, SLAPP-back


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