Module 5: Defamation
The criminalisation of defamation poses a serious risk to freedom of expression, particularly with the rise of new media platforms online. Defamation serves a real purpose to protect individuals from affronts to their dignity but is too often abused to instead silence and punish dissent. In a new trend, it is also being used to silence victims of gender-based violence and to institute SLAPP suits against critics of powerful private interests. Despite the recent trend towards the decriminalisation of defamation, there remains a need to ensure the implementation of judgments, to remove criminal punishments for other insult laws, and to institute legal protections against alternative methods of silencing activists such as SLAPP suits.