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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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Good v Republic of Botswana (2010)

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights found that a professor’s right to freedom of expression had been violated when the state deported Mr Good on national security grounds for the publication of an article critical of Botswana’s presidential succession.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · Africa · Botswana · Apr 2010

Jersild v Denmark (1994)

The European Court of Human Rights held that the intent of a journalist who created a documentary featuring interviews of racist, neo-Nazi gangs was to make a serious social inquiry exposing the views of racist gangs, and therefore not hate speech.

thumb_down_alt Hate speech · Denmark · Europe · Apr 1994

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

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

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

Konaté v Burkina Faso (2014)

The African Court overruled the conviction and harsh penalties levied on a journalist for defamation relating to news articles alleging corruption of a state prosecutor, and found that the conviction was a disproportionate interference with the journalist’s right to freedom of expression.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Burkina · Apr 2014

Başkaya and Okçuoğlu v Turkey (1999)

The European Court of Human Rights found that the convictions and sentencing of an author and publisher on charges of disseminating propaganda against the indivisibility of the state were disproportionate to the aims pursued, and there not necessary in a democratic society.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Asia · Turkey · Apr 1999