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Work at MLDI - Case and Project Support Officer

Posted on: 
12 Dec 2014

The Media Legal Defence Initiative is looking for a Case and Project Support Officer to strengthen its team. This is an exciting opportunity to join a growing and dynamic organisation that is recognised as a leader in the legal defence of journalists worldwide.

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Major Challenges to Fundamental Right of Freedom of Speech in Pakistan

Posted on: 
2 Dec 2014

Yasser Latif Hamdani writes about the current challenges to free speech in Pakistan: "Tragically, in a society and a state is so torn apart by fear, law and constitutional politics become useless. The challenge that the Taliban now pose – regardless of the outcome of the so called peace talks- will only get more amplified. The first casualty is going to be the Fundamental Rights Chapter of the Constitution."

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“No Case To Answer” for Gambian Journalists

Posted on: 
16 Nov 2014

The Banjul Magistrates Court acquitted and discharged Sainey Mk Marenah, a freelance journalist, and Musa S. Sheriff, editor-in-chief of The Voice newspaper of charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and publication of false news. The defendants had pleaded not guilty to both charges and could have faced sentences of up to two years for each separate charge, in addition to a fine, if found guilty.

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Lesotho journalists win right to start newspaper

Posted on: 
30 Oct 2014

The Lesotho Court of Appeal has ruled that three journalists who had been banned from working following a dispute with their former editor should be allowed to set up their own newspaper.

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MLDI publishes 2014 Annual Review

Posted on: 
24 Oct 2014

This year, with the imprisonment of three Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt on false news charges, press freedom issues made headlines around the world. News coverage of this scale is rare, but the sentences are not: oppressive governments around the world are increasingly using false news, criminal libel and national security laws to criminalise free speech.

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Open justice victory in Ugandan case

Posted on: 
24 Oct 2014

On 20 October 2014, the High Court of Uganda ordered that the trial of Ronald Poteri, a police detective accused of leaking secret audio recordings between the Ugandan Inspector General of Police and youths from the ruling National Resistance Movement Party, should be open to journalists and the public.

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Challenging the constitutionality of criminal defamation

Posted on: 
23 Oct 2014

Former journalist of the Sowetan, Cecil Motsepe, wrote a series of articles in 2009 about the allegedly racist conduct of judge Marius Serfontein. In one article, he wrote that Serfontein had given a white woman a lighter sentence than he had given a black man, despite the fact that both were convicted of the same crime. As the judgment was in Afrikaans, which Motsepe does not speak, he relied on the translation of the relevant parts by two people, one of whom was a court official.

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Marshal Muchende on getting Zambia's "false news" law struck down

Posted on: 
12 Oct 2014

The 4th of December 2014 was a defining moment in Zambian legal history. In a landmark judgment, High Court Judge Isaac Chali struck down the provisions of section 67 of the Penal Code which prohibited the publication of so-called “false news”, joining Zambia’s name to the list of countries who have similarly held that this colonial-era law is not justified in modern democracy.

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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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