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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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Mineral Sands Resources and Another v Christine Reddell and Others (2021)

The High Court of South Africa found that a mining company had been abusing judicial processes to intimidate, distract and silence public criticism, and dismissed a defamation case as a SLAPP suit.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · Africa · South Africa · Apr 2021

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

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

Manuel v Economic Freedom Fighters and Others (2019)

In a case dealing with defamation of a political figure on social media, the High Court of South Africa ordered that the defamatory material be deleted within 24 hours and damages were awarded to the applicant.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · Africa · South Africa · Apr 2019

Law Society of South Africa and Others v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others (2018)

The Constitutional Court of South Africa ordered the President to withdraw his signature from the 2014 SADC Protocol, as his signature to the Protocol was found to be unconstitutional, unlawful and irrational.

gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · South Africa · Apr 2018

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

South African National Editors Forum and Others v Black Land First and Others (2017)

The South African High Court granted an interdict sought by a group of journalists, following intimidation, harassment (including threats on social media), assault that they had been subjected to.

fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · local_police Cybercrimes · Africa · South Africa · Apr 2017

Bosasa Operation (Pty) Ltd v Basson and Another (2012)

The High Court of South Africa held that journalists are not required to reveal their sources, subject to certain exceptions.

fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · Africa · South Africa · Apr 2012

NM and Others v Smith and Others (2007)

The Constitutional Court of South Africa deliberated on the high level of protection given to the individual’s “intimate personal sphere of life” but clarified when the personal becomes public and hence limits are placed on the right to privacy.

fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · Africa · South Africa · Apr 2007

National Media Ltd and Others v Bogoshi (1998)

The Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa developed the defence of reasonable publication as protection from a claim of defamation.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · Africa · South Africa · Apr 1998