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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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Burundi Journalists’ Union v Attorney General of the Republic of Burundi (2013)

Following a challenge brought by Burundi Journalists Union, the East African Court of Justice confirmed that parts of Burundi’s Press Law placed an impermissible restriction on journalists by prohibiting them from distributing certain types of information.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · Africa · Burundi · Apr 2013

Media Council of Tanzania v Attorney-General of the United Republic of Tanzania (2019)

The East African Court of Justice ruled in favour of upholding the fundamental right to freedom of expression and called for the repeal of vague and broad provisions that seek to stifle freedom of expression.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Tanzania · Apr 2019

Summary Module 9: National Security (sub-Saharan Africa)

“National security” is one of the most common justifications offered by states for limiting freedom of expression but is also sometimes used to quell dissent and cover up state abuses.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Jan 2021

SANEF v Black Land First (2017)

The High Court of South Africa ordered the Black First Land First organization to refrain from acts of intimidation, harassment, and threats directed at certain journalists.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · local_police Cybercrimes · Africa · South Africa · Nov 2022

The world must not forget the jailed journalists of Ethiopia

dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · Africa · Ethiopia · Dec 2015

Advanced Module 1: General Overview of Trends in Digital Rights Globally (sub-Saharan Africa)

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

Emerging Trend: Intermediary Liability

The rise of the ‘big tech giants’ has occasioned dramatic changes in the global information eco-system, including the ways in which people access news and public information, and how the news media generates income and connects with their audiences. It has also created complications with how illegal or rights-violating content, such as hate speech, is dealt with.

fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · local_police Cybercrimes · Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · Apr 2021

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights v. Zimbabwe (2009)

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held that Zimbabwe violated various rights by using force instead of seeking a Court order to stop a media outlet from operating illegally under a media registration law.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Zimbabwe · Nov 2022

Chavunduka & Another v Minister of Home Affairs & Another (2000)

The Zimbabwe Supreme Court found that a law criminalising the publication of false statements was unconstitutional on the basis that in being too vague it exerted an unacceptable ‘chilling effect’ on freedom of expression.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · Africa · Zimbabwe · Apr 2000

UPDATE: ECOWAS Court delivers landmark decision in one of our strategic cases challenging the laws used to silence and intimidate journalists in the Gambia

dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · Africa · Gambia · Mar 2018