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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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phonelink_lock Digital rights

The term ‘digital rights’ speaks to questions around how the same rights that have always been fundamental to all humans — such as freedom of expression, privacy and access to information — are exercised and protected in the era of the internet, social media and technology.

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Media Defence Announces First Round of Funded Partners Working On Digital Rights in Africa

phonelink_lock Digital rights · Africa · Oct 2020

Summary Module 2: Introduction to Digital Rights

Digital rights — which include the right to freedom of expression, privacy and access to information — are the same fundamental human rights as those enjoyed offline but adapted to a new age of technology

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

Module 2: Digital Rights (South and Southeast Asia Module Series)

Freedom of expression online is uniquely powerful because of its borderless nature, but it has created new legal challenges and consequences. Part of the Modules on Litigating Freedom of Expression and Digital Rights in South and Southeast Asia.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · Asia · Sep 2022

Amnesty International Togo and Others v The Togolese Republic (2020)

The ECOWAS Court of Justice ruled that the 2017 internet shutdown by the Togolese government was illegal and was a violation of the right to freedom of expression.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · Africa · Togo · Apr 2020

Digital Rights Advocates: Interview with Kenyan Lawyer Mercy Mutemi

phonelink_lock Digital rights · Africa · Kenya · Aug 2020

Summary Module 3: Access to the Internet

An express right to the internet has not been recognised in international law. However, it is widely accepted that access to the internet enables a variety of other fundamental rights.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · Africa · Jan 2021

Jamii Media v the Attorney General of Tanzania and Other (2017)

The High Court of Tanzania ruled that, in some instances, the government’s request for a disclosure of user information by an internet intermediary may be justified and would not be declared to be unconstitutional.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · Africa · Tanzania · 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

Summary Module 9: National Security

“National security” is one of the most common justifications offered by states for limiting freedom of expression but is also sometimes used to quell dissent and cover up state abuses.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Jan 2021

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