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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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State Controlled Media Regulation is a Threat to Press Freedom: Media Defence Files an Amicus Brief to European Court of Human Rights

thumb_down_alt Hate speech · Asia · Europe · Russian Federation · Mar 2017

Defending the Media in Satire Cases: Factsheet

Despite such strong support for the protections which should be afforded to satire and the satirist, there is little case law which deals with the subject directly – at least in the international legal sphere – other than a handful of cases heard before the ECtHR.

Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · Sep 2020

Steel and Morris v United Kingdom (2005)

The European Court of Human Rights held that although the sum awarded in a defamation case was not objectively large, “it was very substantial when compared to the modest incomes and resources of the . . . applicant . . .”.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Europe · United Kingdom · Apr 2005

10 Human Rights Organisations v United Kingdom (2018)

The European Court of Human Rights was faced with a matter regarding the British government’s power to engage in surveillance and whether its bulk interception regime was a violation of the right to privacy.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · Europe · United Kingdom · Apr 2018

UNESCO guide for amicus curiae interventions in freedom of expression cases

The UNESCO Guide for Amicus Curiae Interventions on Freedom of Expression Cases, developed with the support of Media Defence, seeks to equip civil society organizations with the basic tools to file effective amicus curiae interventions, and encourage them to intervene in cases where freedom of expression standards can be advanced or where the right to freedom of expression or the safety of journalists is at stake. The Guide provides practical information on how to file amicus curiae briefs and sets out strategic considerations – as well as do’s and don’ts – with the goal of helping organizations write the most impactful brief possible.

Africa · Asia · Europe · Global · North America · Oceania · South America · Sep 2021

Plaintiff X v PrimaDaNoi (2015)

Italy’s Supreme Court of Cassation held that the public interest in an article diminished after two and a half years, and that sensitive and private information should not be available to the public indefinitely.

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

Gaughran v United Kingdom (2020)

The European Court of Human Rights held that the indefinite retention of data of a man who had a spent conviction was a violation of his privacy rights.

fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · Europe · United Kingdom · Apr 2020

Tamiz v United Kingdom (2017)

The European Court of Human Rights found that although Internet Service Providers (ISPs) perform an important function in facilitating access to information, ISPs should not be obliged to monitor content or proactively investigate potential defamatory remarks posted on their sites.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · Europe · United Kingdom · Apr 2017

Explaining the Issues: Internet Shutdowns

In our Explaining the Issues series, we explain legal issues faced by the media – this instalment covers internet shutdowns.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · Oct 2020

Radio Twist v Slovakia (2005)

The European Court of Human Rights held that a radio station had not violated the rights of persons who were recorded because of the context and content of the conversation being clearly political in nature, and the subject-matter being of general interest, and because of the context of how the recording came to be in…

fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · Europe · Slovakia · Apr 2005