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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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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

Article 19 v Eritrea (2007)

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights established the “. . . actio popularis approach where the author of a communication need not know or have any relationship with the victim.  This is to enable poor victims of human rights violations on the continent to receive assistance from NGOs and individuals far removed from…

gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Eritrea · Apr 2007

Delfi AS v Estonia (2013)

The European Court of Human Rights found that an online news portal was liable for offensive comments they allowed to be posted below one of their news articles.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Estonia · Europe · Apr 2013

Jankovskis v Lithuania (2017)

In relation to a prisoner who had been refused access to a website containing education-related information, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the applicant’s claim of a violation of the right to freedom of expression.

gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Europe · Lithuania · Apr 2017

Magyar Tartalomszolgáltatók Egyesülete and Index.hu Zrt v Hungary (2016)

The European Court of Human Rights found that internet portals assume duties and responsibilities particularly in the context of offensive and vulgar comments — even if the speech is not unlawful.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Europe · Hungary · Apr 2016

Law Society of Zimbabwe and Others v Zimbabwe (2016)

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights indicated that the court will adopt a flexible approach that allows anyone to file a communication for the court’s consideration, including non-victim individuals, CSOs and pressure groups.

gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Zimbabwe · Apr 2016

Shreya Singhal v Union of India (2012)

The Supreme Court of India found that intermediaries are only liable when they have received actual knowledge from a court order, or have been notified by the government, and subsequently failed to remove or disable access to the information.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · local_police Cybercrimes · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Asia · India · Apr 2012

Sir Dawda K. Jawara v The Gambia (2000)

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights confirmed that in circumstances where it is effective and sufficient to redress the complaint, a domestic remedy may be available to a petitioner.

gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Gambia · Apr 2000

Bhasin v Union of India; Azad v Union of India (2020)

The Supreme Court of India found that freedom of speech and expression and the freedom to practice any profession or occupation over the medium of the internet enjoys constitutional protection and that suspending internet services indefinitely is impermissible.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Asia · India · Apr 2020

Ingabire Victorie Umuhoza v The Republic of Rwanda (2017)

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights grappled with a violation of freedom of expression and held that laws which limit free speech must be legitimate, necessary and proportional.

gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Rwanda · Apr 2017