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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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Delfi AS v Estonia (2013)

The European Court of Human Rights found that an online news portal was liable for offensive comments they allowed to be posted below one of their news articles.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Estonia · Europe · Apr 2013

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

Summary Module 10: Introduction to Litigating Digital Rights in Africa

Strategic litigation is a powerful tool to advance digital rights and it is increasingly being used in a variety of different and innovative ways.

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 · Jan 2021

Defending the Media in Defamation Cases: Factsheet

Defamation can be described in a number of ways – but is broadly understood as the communication of a false statement that unjustly causes harm or detriment to legal or natural person’s reputation.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · South America · Sep 2020

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

Mineral Sands Resources and Another v Christine Reddell and Others (2021)

The High Court of South Africa found that a mining company had been abusing judicial processes to intimidate, distract and silence public criticism, and dismissed a defamation case as a SLAPP suit.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · Africa · South Africa · Apr 2021

Advanced Module 1: General Overview of Trends in Digital Rights Globally

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

Konaté v Burkina Faso (2014)

The African Court overruled the conviction and harsh penalties levied on a journalist for defamation relating to news articles alleging corruption of a state prosecutor, and found that the conviction was a disproportionate interference with the journalist’s right to freedom of expression.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Burkina · Apr 2014

Gender & Online Harassment: Factsheet

Note: this Factsheet deals with issues of a sensitive nature relating to harassment and gender-based violence. The relationship between gender and online harassment Online harassment and intimidation through text messages, phone calls or social media — often known as cyberstalking or cyber-harassment — severely restricts the enjoyment that persons have of their rights online, particularly…

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · local_police Cybercrimes · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · Apr 2021

Advanced Module 3: Criminalisation of Online Speech

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