Module 10: Introduction to Litigating Digital Rights in Africa
The internet is one of the most powerful tools for facilitating the receiving and imparting of information and ideas. It allows for instant sharing of volumes of information, across borders and to wide audiences. It enables individuals to engage with diverse views and perspectives, and to access an array of resources to assist them to formulate their own views.
While the internet and other technologies offer enormous opportunities, they also present particular challenges. The digital rights landscape is constantly evolving as new technologies develop, and as we increasingly test the ambit of the right to freedom of expression and other rights online.
Even though litigation can be a protracted and costly process, it can contribute, in a meaningful way, to the evolution of legal frameworks that ensure that human rights are respected, protected and promoted. Strategic and test case litigation is increasingly being used as a tool to advance freedom of expression and digital rights. Given the contemporary challenges to human rights online, there is a need for the increased utilisation of strategic litigation to hold both state and non-state actors accountable. This training module seeks to give an overview of some of the basic principles involved in litigation, as well as an overview of litigating in various courts across the African continent.
This module should be read in conjunction with the following resources:
- Module 6 : Litigating Digital Rights Cases in Africa, Media Defence Advanced Modules on Digital Rights and Freedom of Expression Online
- Media Defence Report Mapping digital rights and online freedom of expression in East, West, and Southern Africa.
- Media Defence manual on litigating freedom of expression cases in East Africa.
- Media Defence West Africa Regional Mechanisms Manual.
- Media Defence Digital Rights Litigation Guide.