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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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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

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

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

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

WASHLITE v Fox News (2020)

The Washington Superior Court found that Fox News’ repeated claims that COVID-19 was/is a hoax were protected under the freedom of expression protections of the First Amendment.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · North America · US · Apr 2020

Madanhire and Another v Attorney General of Zimbabwe (2014)

The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe found that the offense of criminal defamation was incompatible with the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · Africa · Zimbabwe · Apr 2014

Mukong v Cameroon (1994)

The United Nations Human Rights Commission held that the arrest of a journalist on national security grounds for criticising the President and government of Cameroon was unjustified and a violation of the journalist’s freedom of expression.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · Africa · Cameroon · Apr 1994

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

Constitutional Rights Project v Nigeria (1999)

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights confirmed that there must be a legitimate reason for the limitation of right and that the limitation must be proportionate and necessary.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · Africa · Nigeria · Apr 1999