Human rights have become firmly entrenched in international law since the adoption of the seminal Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Freedom of expression is a protected fundamental human right, but is increasingly under threat due to dramatic changes to the media and information eco-system occasioned by the rise of the internet.
“There can be no doubt that the freedom of expression, coupled with the corollary right to receive and impart information, is a core value of any democratic society deserving of the utmost legal protection.”Justice Patel, Zimbabwean Constitutional Court
Media Defence has developed a series of summary modules to provide an overview of the right to freedom of expression under international law. Challenges to expression online are growing with the rise of social media and the changing media landscape. Although international law clearly states that freedom of expression is a protected right regardless of the medium, the internet has redefined what constitutes a journalist, created new cybercrime risks, and sparked a misinformation epidemic.