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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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thumb_down_alt Hate speech

In order to uphold freedom of expression, there is a need for clear and narrowly circumscribed definitions of ‘hate speech,’ which do not conflate it with speech that is offensive.

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Media Defence Training Manual on International and Comparative Media and Freedom of Expression Law

The Media Defence manual on international and comparative media and freedom of expression law consists of a 136-page guide to international and comparative freedom of expression law, introducing topics ranging from defamation to national security restrictions on free speech.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · Aug 2019

Summary Module 1: Key Principles of International Law and Freedom of Expression (sub-Saharan Africa)

Overview of the right to freedom of expression and how it is protected under international law.

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

South African Human Rights Commission v Khumalo (2018)

The High Court of South found that the remarks made by the respondent about white people constituted hate speech as they incited and advocated for violence.

thumb_down_alt Hate speech · Africa · South Africa · Apr 2018

Module 6: Hate Speech (South and Southeast Asia Module Series)

International law requires states to ban hate speech which intentionally incites to violence, hatred or discrimination, but not that actual harm results. The biggest danger with hate speech is that vagueness in defining its meaning may allow such laws to be used as tools to stifle legitimate criticism or political speech. Part of the Modules on Litigating Freedom of Expression and Digital Rights in South and Southeast Asia.

thumb_down_alt Hate speech · 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

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

The Gambia v Facebook (2021)

In a discovery request, the US District Court held that Facebook must disclose de-platformed content and internal investigation documents relating to the incitement of ethnic hatred against the Rohingyas in Myanmar.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · North America · US · Nov 2022

Summary Module 6: Hate Speech (sub-Saharan Africa)

It is important to find the right balance between speech that is offensive, yet important for freedom of expression and dissent, and speech which constitutes impermissible hate speech.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · Africa · Jan 2021

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

Qwelane v South African Human Rights Commission (2021)

The Constitutional Court of South Africa held that a provision creating criminal liability for hate speech was unconstitutional, holding that hate speech must be both harmful or incite harm and promote hatred.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · Africa · South Africa · Nov 2022