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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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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

Emerging Trend: Internet Shutdowns

An internet shutdown is an intentional disruption of internet or electronic communications, rendering them inaccessible or effectively unusable, for a specific population or within a location, often to exert control over the flow of information. A shutdown arises when someone, be it the government or a private sector actor, intentionally disrupts the internet, a telecommunications network or an internet service, arguably to control or curb what people say or do.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · Apr 2021

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

Module 3: Access to the Internet (South and Southeast Asia Module Series)

An obligation on States to progressively promote access to the internet is emerging under international law. Practices such as internet shutdowns and blocking and filtering of content are severe restrictions on the right to freedom of expression. Part of the Modules on Litigating Freedom of Expression and Digital Rights in South and Southeast Asia.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · Asia · Sep 2022

Mapping Digital Rights and Online Freedom of Expression Litigation in East, West and Southern Africa (2021)

The report begins with an overview of the digital rights landscape and an introduction to the research methodology, before delving into recent developments in seven themes of particular relevance at present — (i) defamation; (ii) national security, counter-terrorism and public order laws; (iii) laws restricting online content and access; (iv) internet shutdowns; (v) cybercrime legislation; (vi) media regulation and newsgathering activities; and (vii) data protection.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Aug 2021