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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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gavel Litigating freedom of expression

Strategic litigation is a key tool being used to uphold freedom of expression and to advance digital rights.

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Herrera-Ulloa v Costa Rica (2004)

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights held that Costa Rica’s criminal defamation law violated the American Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Costa Rica · North America · Apr 2004

Landmark Judgment: ECOWAS Court Finds Togo Violated FoE with Internet Shutdown

phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Togo · Jun 2020

Democratic Party v Secretary-General and the Attorneys General of the Republic of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi (2014)

The East African Court of Justice confirmed that once an applicant has shown an alleged violation of the EAC Treaty, the court must exercise its jurisdiction i.e., it does not have voluntary jurisdiction.

gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Burundi · Kenya · Rwanda · Uganda · Apr 2014

Reading List: An introduction to litigating at regional mechanisms in Africa

In this blog, we’ve put together some resources to help you learn more about litigating at regional mechanisms in Africa. Take a look at our suggestions below to learn more.

gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Aug 2021

Media Defence Training Manual on Litigation and Freedom of Expression in West Africa

To help equip lawyers to promote freedom of expression we are sharing our West Africa Regional Mechanisms Training Manual which provides tools and advice on litigating in defence of freedom of expression in West Africa.

gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Benin · Burkina · Gambia · Ghana · Guinea · Guinea-Bissau · Ivory Coast · Liberia · Mali · Niger · Nigeria · Senegal · Sierra Leone · Togo · Aug 2018

Mineral Sands Resources Pty Ltd v Christine Riddell (2022)

A unanimous judgment from the South African Constitutional Court recognised a SLAPP defence as an existing form of abuse of process under South African law that did not call for a further development of the common law.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · South Africa · Nov 2022

Steel and Morris v United Kingdom (2005)

The European Court of Human Rights held that although the sum awarded in a defamation case was not objectively large, “it was very substantial when compared to the modest incomes and resources of the . . . applicant . . .”.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Europe · United Kingdom · Apr 2005

Advanced Module 1: General Overview of Trends in Digital Rights Globally (sub-Saharan Africa)

Sets out trends and expected developments in the context of the right of access to information, particularly trends that pose a threat to access to information.

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 · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · Aug 2020

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

Mapping Digital Rights and Online Freedom of Expression Litigation in East, West and Southern Africa (2021)

The report begins with an overview of the digital rights landscape and an introduction to the research methodology, before delving into recent developments in seven themes of particular relevance at present — (i) defamation; (ii) national security, counter-terrorism and public order laws; (iii) laws restricting online content and access; (iv) internet shutdowns; (v) cybercrime legislation; (vi) media regulation and newsgathering activities; and (vii) data protection.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Aug 2021