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Each theme contains useful resources for lawyers on freedom of expression, click below to get started.

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Freedom of expression

An overview of the multi-faceted right to freedom of expression and how it is protected under international law.

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Digital rights

Understanding digital rights is crucial to protecting human rights, as little of our lives today is immune from the forces of technology and the internet.

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Restricting Internet access & online content

An overview of the ways in which access to the internet and online content are restricted around the world.

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Defamation & reputation

An overview of freedom of expression issues in the law, including how defamation is treated in domestic and international law.

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Privacy, security & data protection

An overview of the right to privacy, data protection, and protecting freedom of expression in a digital world.

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Cybercrimes

Describes the different types of cybercrimes, tracks the trends, and evaluates how cybercrimes are dealt with in international law.

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Hate speech

An overview of hate speech and how it is dealt with both under domestic and international law.

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Censorship by private actors

An overview of the ways in which access to content and freedom of expression online are restricted by private actors.

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False news, misinformation & propaganda

An overview of false news, misinformation and propaganda, including causes and potential solutions..

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Litigating freedom of expression

An overview of the various rights and concepts which encompass digital rights.

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Ocean King v Senegal (2011)

The ECOWAS Court held that an applicant will not have standing if an issue raised does not fall within the requisite standing provisions, which are fairly broad.

gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Senegal · Apr 2011

Milestone Judgment for Internet Freedom in India

pan_tool Censorship by private actors · Asia · India · Nov 2015

Engaging advocates to advance press freedom standards in the Gambia

dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Gambia · Mar 2018

COVID-19: Governments Must Protect Freedom of Expression During the Pandemic

dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Mar 2020

Summary Module 5: Defamation (sub-Saharan Africa)

Defamation is frequently used to unjustly stifle dissent. However, it can provide a genuine remedy for those harmed by the statements or actions of others.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · Africa · Jan 2021

Using Strategic Litigation to Challenge Internet Shutdowns – Challenges and Successes (FIFAfrica21)

Reports of internet shutdowns and social media blocking are increasing in Africa and governments are becoming more sophisticated in their approaches. As more courts hand down decisions, this panel at #FIFAfrica21 examine how that jurisprudence can be used to counter this. The panel focuses on challenges and opportunities for litigators when trying to achieve positive judgments in Africa.

The panellists discuss challenging internet shutdowns within domestic courts and regional mechanisms in Africa and outline their experiences of strategic litigation in the context of internet shutdowns and social media blocking. This includes discussing recent applications to ECOWAS challenging the shutdown in Guinea and the Twitter ban in Nigeria.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Sep 2021

Kalda v Estonia (2016)

The European Court of Human Rights held that a prisoner had a right to access certain internet sites even though he already had access to paper versions of the information.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · Estonia · Europe · Nov 2022

Standard Verlagsgesellschaft mbH v Austria (no. 3) (2021)

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that requiring a media company to disclose the identities of registered users that had made comments on its site was a violation of freedom of expression due to the political nature of the comments and the failure to run a test on balancing competing interests.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · Austria · Europe · Nov 2022

New York Times v Sullivan (1964)

The United States Supreme Court established that public officials should face a higher threshold of criticism.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · North America · US · Apr 1964

Madanhire and Another v Attorney General of Zimbabwe (2014)

The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe found that the offense of criminal defamation was incompatible with the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · Africa · Zimbabwe · Apr 2014