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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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local_fire_department Defamation & reputation

While defamation laws aim to provide individuals with a remedy for public statements that may harm their reputation or honour, they frequently come into conflict with the right to freedom of expression.

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Magyar Tartalomszolgáltatók Egyesülete and Index.hu Zrt v Hungary (2016)

The European Court of Human Rights found that internet portals assume duties and responsibilities particularly in the context of offensive and vulgar comments — even if the speech is not unlawful.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Europe · Hungary · Apr 2016

Segerman vs Peterson (2022)

The High Court of South Africa overturned a protection order granted by a Cape Town Magistrate’s Court that prevented a woman from speaking about her rape by her ex-boyfriend.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · local_police Cybercrimes · Africa · South Africa · Nov 2022

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

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

Module de synthèse 5 : Diffamation (Afrique subsaharienne)

La diffamation est fréquemment utilisée pour étouffer injustement la dissidence. Néanmoins, elle peut constituer un véritable recours pour les personnes lésées par les déclarations ou les actions d’autrui.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · Africa · Apr 2021

Defamation Liability Should Not Extend to Publishers for Hyperlinking – Media Defence Files Intervention to European Court

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · Asia · Europe · Russian Federation · Apr 2017

Okuta v Attorney General (2017)

The High Court of Kenya declared the offence of criminal defamation under section 194 of the Kenyan Penal Code to be unconstitutional.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · Africa · Kenya · Nov 2022

Advanced Module 3: Criminalisation of Online Speech (sub-Saharan Africa)

Sets out the applicable international human rights standards and provides an overview of fundamental international and regional legal principles.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · Aug 2020

Herrera-Ulloa v Costa Rica (2004)

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights held that Costa Rica’s criminal defamation law violated the American Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Costa Rica · North America · Apr 2004

Module 5: Defamation (South and Southeast Asia Module Series)

Defamation is frequently used to unjustly stifle dissent. However, it can provide a genuine remedy for those whose reputations are harmed by the statements or actions of others. Part of the Modules on Litigating Freedom of Expression and Digital Rights in South and Southeast Asia.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · Asia · Sep 2022