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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 Council of Tanzania v Attorney-General of the United Republic of Tanzania (2019)

The East African Court of Justice ruled in favour of upholding the fundamental right to freedom of expression and called for the repeal of vague and broad provisions that seek to stifle freedom of expression.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Tanzania · Apr 2019

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

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

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

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

Burundi Journalists’ Union v Attorney General of the Republic of Burundi (2013)

Following a challenge brought by Burundi Journalists Union, the East African Court of Justice confirmed that parts of Burundi’s Press Law placed an impermissible restriction on journalists by prohibiting them from distributing certain types of information.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · Africa · Burundi · Apr 2013

10 Human Rights Organisations v United Kingdom (2018)

The European Court of Human Rights was faced with a matter regarding the British government’s power to engage in surveillance and whether its bulk interception regime was a violation of the right to privacy.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · Europe · United Kingdom · Apr 2018

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Another v The Minister of State in the President’s Office Responsible for National Security and Others (2019)

The Zimbabwe High Court ruled that the government had no authority to order the internet shutdown that coincided with widespread protests in January 2019.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · Africa · Zimbabwe · Apr 2019

Kharitonov v Russia (2020)

The European Court of Human Rights held that the blocking of a website as a consequence of a blocking order against another website which had the same IP address was a violation of the right to freedom of expression and information.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · Asia · Europe · Russian Federation · Apr 2020

amaBhungane v Minister of Justice (2021)

The Constitutional Court of South Africa held that the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act (RICA), which regulated mass surveillance in South Africa, was unconstitutional.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · local_police Cybercrimes · Africa · South Africa · Apr 2021