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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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United States v Alvarez (2012)

In the majority opinion of the United States Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that “[t]he remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true.  This is the ordinary course in a free society.”

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · US · Apr 2012

Kalda v Estonia (2016)

The European Court of Human Rights held that the right of the applicant — a prisoner — to freedom of expression had been violated through the refusal to grant him access to internet websites containing legal information, as this had breached his right to receive information.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · Estonia · Europe · Apr 2016

Packingham v State of North Carolina (2017)

The Supreme Court of the United States found a law in North Carolina to be in violation of the First Amendment because it made it a felony for a registered sex offender “to access a commercial social networking Web site where the sex offender knows that the site permits minor children to become members or…

local_police Cybercrimes · North America · US · Apr 2017

Gender & Online Harassment: Factsheet

Note: this Factsheet deals with issues of a sensitive nature relating to harassment and gender-based violence. The relationship between gender and online harassment Online harassment and intimidation through text messages, phone calls or social media — often known as cyberstalking or cyber-harassment — severely restricts the enjoyment that persons have of their rights online, particularly…

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · local_police Cybercrimes · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · Apr 2021

Keeping the channels open: reflections on the importance of freedom of expression online

dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · May 2018

Module de synthèse 4 : Vie privée et protection des données

Le droit à la vie privée prend de plus en plus d’importance avec l’augmentation des flux de données et la nécessité concomitante de protéger les informations personnelles.

fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · Africa · Apr 2021

Advanced Module 1: General Overview of Trends in Digital Rights Globally

Sets out trends and expected developments in the context of the right of access to information, particularly trends that pose a threat to access to information.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · local_police Cybercrimes · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · Aug 2020

Başkaya and Okçuoğlu v Turkey (1999)

The European Court of Human Rights found that the convictions and sentencing of an author and publisher on charges of disseminating propaganda against the indivisibility of the state were disproportionate to the aims pursued, and there not necessary in a democratic society.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Asia · Turkey · Apr 1999

Maximillian Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner (2015)

The Court of Justice of the European Union held that data transferred from the EU to a country without sufficient data protection laws (the US) violated the data subject’s rights, and declared the Safe Harbour Decision invalid.

fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · Europe · Ireland · Apr 2015

Partners: How Human Rights Platform Has Used Strategic Litigation to Defend Press Freedom in Ukraine

phonelink_lock Digital rights · Europe · Ukraine · Dec 2020