News: Blogs

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Three upcoming court decisions that could change the face of the African press

Posted on: 
16 Sep 2014

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the East African Court of Justice and the African Commission will speak out on the criminal prosecution of those who challenge the conduct of public officials, muzzling a free press in the run-up to elections, and the space allowed for open and critical debate in a post-conflict society.

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Richard Clayton: The Curious Case of Kennedy v Charity Commission

Posted on: 
5 Aug 2014

On 26 March 2014 the Supreme Court gave a lengthy judgment in Kennedy v Charity Commission [2014] UKSC 20 , running to 248 paragraphs. The Supreme Court decision is full of surprises.

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Explaining the Issues: False News

Posted on: 
8 Jul 2014

We have previously looked at how criminal libel and national security laws are increasingly being used to silence journalists. The third, and lesser known, law that is also used in this way is the criminalisation of publishing "false news".

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Explaining the Issues: National Security

Posted on: 
19 Jun 2014

The reporting of stories relating to national security has been a concern for governments around the world for many years, but since 9/11 there has been a dramatic increase in the number of cases against journalists pursued in the name of national security.

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A win – sort of

Posted on: 
15 May 2014

Yasser Latif Hamdani - The Supreme Court’s interim order dated 17.9.2012 ordering the blocking of the offensive video “Innocence of Muslims” on the internet is one of the strangest orders, even for an activist Supreme Court that Chaudhry Iftikhar’s Court was.

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Arguing the first free speech case at the African Court

Posted on: 
24 Mar 2014

On 20 and 21 March, we argued the first freedom of expression case before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Arusha, Tanzania. The case addresses a number of important issues regarding free speech, including the compatibility of criminal sanctions with the right to freedom of expression as protected by Article 9 of the African Charter.

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Setbacks and Tension in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Posted on: 
1 Dec 2013

For the first time, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights determined that a criminal conviction for the crime of slander and libel does not affect freedom of expression.

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Explaining the Issues: Sedition

Posted on: 
13 Nov 2013

While it's rare to be prosecuted for it in western democracies, Peter Noorlander, MLDI's CEO, explains how authoritarian governments frequently use old colonial sedition laws to silence criticism.

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Media Freedom - A Rough Guide to Kigali

Posted on: 
5 Nov 2013

Agnès Uwimana and Saidati Mukakibibi wrote for a local Rwandan newspaper, Umurabyo. Some of their articles displeased the Rwandan government. The result: seventeen and seven years in prison on grounds of defamation, threatening national security, “divisionism” and genocide denial.

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Explaining the Issues: Criminal Libel

Posted on: 
10 Oct 2013

Criminal libel laws date back to the middle ages but are in current use around the world. In many countries, journalists still face prison for doing no more than criticising someone in power

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