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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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record_voice_over Freedom of expression

Freedom of expression is a protected fundamental human right, but it is increasingly under threat due to dramatic changes to the media and information eco-system occasioned by the rise of the internet.

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Spyware & Digital Surveillance: Factsheet

In the world of advanced methods of data collection, graphics processing and algorithms, there is wide-spread concern that the increasing prevalence of spyware and digital surveillance pose a serious threat to human rights, most notably, privacy and freedom of expression. Spyware and surveillance may take various forms, including but not limited to electronic trackers, security…

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · local_police Cybercrimes · Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · Apr 2021

SLAPPs in sub-Saharan Africa

Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs) are vexatious and meritless legal action, often taken against journalists and human rights activists who have expressed a critical opinion. They are intended to distract from the reporting, intimidate and discourage them from voicing their opinions, and divert resources from public interest reporting to defending the abusive suits. SLAPPs…

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Kenya · Nigeria · South Africa · Oct 2023

Mapping Digital Rights and Online Freedom of Expression in East, West and Southern Africa (2019)

This report maps the current landscape in respect of digital rights and online freedom of expression in
East, West and Southern Africa. It looks at the trends regarding law and policy developments, as well
as recent litigation, within these regions. The report focuses on 18 countries – 6 per region – and tracks
the recent developments that have taken place in these countries.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Mar 2019

Module 9: National Security (South and Southeast Asia Module Series)

“National security” is a common justifications offered by states for limiting freedom of expression by journalists, bloggers, and media organs. However, it has the potential to be relied upon to quell dissent and cover up state abuses. Part of the Modules on Litigating Freedom of Expression and Digital Rights in South and Southeast Asia.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · Asia · Sep 2022

Summary Module 2: Introduction to Digital Rights (sub-Saharan Africa)

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

Economic Freedom Fighters v Minister of Justice (2020)

The Constitutional Court of South Africa held that a provision criminalising incitement to “any offence” was overly broad and an infringement of the right to freedom of expression.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · Africa · South Africa · Nov 2022

Thorgeir Thorgeirson v Iceland (1992)

The European Court of Human Rights stressed that the role of the mass media is of particular importance in realising the right to freedom of expression, due to their “public watchdog” role.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · Europe · Iceland · Apr 1992

European Court Finds Turkey Violated Cumhuriyet Journalists’ Rights to Liberty and Security, Freedom of Expression, Detained in the Crackdown Following July 2016 Coup

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · Asia · Turkey · Apr 2021

Defending Environmental Defenders: Factsheet

Caselaw relevant to the protection of environmental journalists Environmental journalists report on important and sensitive topics, including deforestation, illegal mining, land seizures and pollution. By investigating and uncovering private and state activities that impact adversely on the environment, they provide the public with essential information. At the same time, they provide this critical service at…

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Europe · North America · May 2024

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