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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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dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda

As false news and misinformation have increased exponentially in recent times with the advent of the internet and social media platforms, it has necessitated courts, international actors and civil society to find urgent and effective responses.

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Okedara v Attorney General (2019)

The Court of Appeal in Lagos dismissed a challenge to the constitutionality of the Cybercrime Act, disagreeing with the Appellant that the provision was vague, overly broad and ambiguous, and threatened his rights to freedom of expression.

local_police Cybercrimes · dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · Africa · Nigeria · Apr 2021

United States v Alvarez (2012)

In the majority opinion of the United States Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that “[t]he remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true.  This is the ordinary course in a free society.”

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · US · Apr 2012

Burundi Journalists Union v The Attorney-General of the Republic of Burundi (2015)

The East African Court of Justice found that a Burundian law that restricted disseminating information that may be seen to be critical of the state, and forced journalists to reveal their sources was a violation of the EAC Treaty.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Burundi · Apr 2015

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

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

Qwelane v South African Human Rights Commission and Another (2019)

The Constitutional Court of South Africa declared a provision in South Africa’s Equality Act unconstitutional on the basis that it infringed the right to freedom of expression as the provision’s use of the word “hurtful” was found to be vague.

thumb_down_alt Hate speech · dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · Africa · South Africa · Apr 2019

Die Grünen v Facebook Ireland Limited (2020)

The Austrian Supreme Court ruled that Facebook must remove all postings worldwide containing hate speech about an Austrian politician.

thumb_down_alt Hate speech · dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · Austria · Europe · Apr 2020

Savva Terentyev v Russia (2018)

The European Court of Human Rights held that the imposition of a suspended sentence on an individual for posting a provocative comment online that criticized police abuse amounted to a violation of the right to freedom of expression.

dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · Asia · Russian Federation · Apr 2018