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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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National Media Ltd and Others v Bogoshi (1998)

The Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa developed the defence of reasonable publication as protection from a claim of defamation.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · Africa · South Africa · Apr 1998

Federation of African Journalists v The Gambia (2018)

The ECOWAS Court of Justice delivered a landmark judgment that the rights of four journalists had been violated by state authorities when security agents arbitrarily arrested, harassed and detained them under inhumane conditions, and forced them into exile for fear of persecution.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · Africa · Gambia · Apr 2018

Trustco Group International Ltd and Others v Shikongo (2010)

The Namibian Supreme Court emphasised the importance of the defence of reasonable publication in protecting media freedoms.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · Africa · Namibia · Apr 2010

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

Stocker v Stocker (2019)

The United Kingdom Supreme Court created a new sub-category of the ‘reasonable reader’ of a social media post in analysing the intended meaning of a statement, rather than relying on a more traditional and formal understanding of language.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Europe · United Kingdom · Apr 2019

Manuel v Economic Freedom Fighters and Others (2019)

In a case dealing with defamation of a political figure on social media, the High Court of South Africa ordered that the defamatory material be deleted within 24 hours and damages were awarded to the applicant.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · Africa · South Africa · Apr 2019

New York Times v Sullivan (1964)

The United States Supreme Court established that public officials should face a higher threshold of criticism.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · North America · US · Apr 1964

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

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