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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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Explaining the Issues: National Security

The reporting of stories relating to national security has been a concern for governments around the world for many years, but since 9/11 there has been a dramatic increase in the number of cases against journalists pursued in the name of national security.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · Sep 2021

Explaining the Issues: Sedition

While it’s rare to be prosecuted for it in western democracies, this blog explains how authoritarian governments frequently use old colonial sedition laws to silence criticism.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · Sep 2021

Using Strategic Litigation to Challenge Internet Shutdowns – Challenges and Successes (FIFAfrica21)

Reports of internet shutdowns and social media blocking are increasing in Africa and governments are becoming more sophisticated in their approaches. As more courts hand down decisions, this panel at #FIFAfrica21 examine how that jurisprudence can be used to counter this. The panel focuses on challenges and opportunities for litigators when trying to achieve positive judgments in Africa.

The panellists discuss challenging internet shutdowns within domestic courts and regional mechanisms in Africa and outline their experiences of strategic litigation in the context of internet shutdowns and social media blocking. This includes discussing recent applications to ECOWAS challenging the shutdown in Guinea and the Twitter ban in Nigeria.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Sep 2021

UNESCO guide for amicus curiae interventions in freedom of expression cases

The UNESCO Guide for Amicus Curiae Interventions on Freedom of Expression Cases, developed with the support of Media Defence, seeks to equip civil society organizations with the basic tools to file effective amicus curiae interventions, and encourage them to intervene in cases where freedom of expression standards can be advanced or where the right to freedom of expression or the safety of journalists is at stake. The Guide provides practical information on how to file amicus curiae briefs and sets out strategic considerations – as well as do’s and don’ts – with the goal of helping organizations write the most impactful brief possible.

Africa · Asia · Europe · Global · North America · Oceania · South America · Sep 2021

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

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

Emerging Trend: Intermediary Liability

The rise of the ‘big tech giants’ has occasioned dramatic changes in the global information eco-system, including the ways in which people access news and public information, and how the news media generates income and connects with their audiences. It has also created complications with how illegal or rights-violating content, such as hate speech, is dealt with.

fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · local_police Cybercrimes · Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · Apr 2021

Emerging Trend: Surveillance & Encryption

In the digital world, in which our communications increasingly occur online or through digital channels and where we leave an ever-growing trail of data in the wake of so many of our daily activities, digital surveillance is a growing trend and a potential threat to freedom of expression and privacy.

fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · local_police Cybercrimes · Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · Apr 2021

Emerging Trend: Internet Shutdowns

An internet shutdown is an intentional disruption of internet or electronic communications, rendering them inaccessible or effectively unusable, for a specific population or within a location, often to exert control over the flow of information. A shutdown arises when someone, be it the government or a private sector actor, intentionally disrupts the internet, a telecommunications network or an internet service, arguably to control or curb what people say or do.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · Apr 2021

Free Speech Organisations Submit Amicus Brief in Inter-American Court of Human Rights Case on Criminal Defamation

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · South America · Venezuela · Apr 2021