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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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SLAPPs in sub-Saharan Africa

Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs) are vexatious and meritless legal action, often taken against journalists and human rights activists who have expressed a critical opinion. They are intended to distract from the reporting, intimidate and discourage them from voicing their opinions, and divert resources from public interest reporting to defending the abusive suits. SLAPPs…

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Kenya · Nigeria · South Africa · Oct 2023

Disinformation and Online Harassment against Women Journalists in sub-Saharan Africa

The rise of digital platforms, online news reporting and social media has fuelled disinformation and online harassment, often targeting women journalists. Disinformation refers to information that is “falsely and deliberately created to harm a person, social group, organisation or country.” Often, this takes the form of spreading lies about a journalist’s character or work and…

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · Africa · Kenya · Nigeria · South Africa · Oct 2023

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

Sharma v Union of India (2021)

In this ruling stemming from the Pegasus Spyware scandal, the Supreme Court of India ordered an independent inquiry into allegations that the government deployed the Pegasus spyware against various journalists, politicians, and dissidents.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · Asia · India · Nov 2022

Biancardi v Italy (2021)

The European Court of Human Rights held that an online publisher’s failure to comply with a de-indexing request justified restricting the publisher’s freedom of expression by allowing the request.

fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · Europe · Italy · Nov 2022

Standard Verlagsgesellschaft mbH v Austria (no. 3) (2021)

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that requiring a media company to disclose the identities of registered users that had made comments on its site was a violation of freedom of expression due to the political nature of the comments and the failure to run a test on balancing competing interests.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · Austria · Europe · Nov 2022

Vladimir Kharitonov v Russia (2020)

The European Court of Human Rights held that the wholesale blocking of a website in error because it shared an IP address with another website sharing illegal content was far beyond the illegal content actually targeted and was a violation of the right to freedom of expression.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Asia · Russian Federation · Nov 2022

OOO Flavus v Russia (2020)

The European Court of Human Rights held that the indiscriminate blocking of entire online news websites without giving notice of the specific offending material was a breach of the right to freedom of expression.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Asia · Russian Federation · Nov 2022

Economic Freedom Fighters v Manuel (2020)

In an appeal of the 2019 High Court judgment, the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa ruled that the EFF had defamed a former politician but found that the High Court had incorrectly quantified the damages to be awarded.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · Africa · South Africa · Nov 2022

Big Brother Watch v. the United Kingdom (No. 2) (2021)

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights held that a provision of the United Kingdom’s surveillance law that enabled regimes on bulk interception and obtaining data from communications service providers violated the rights to privacy and freedom of expression.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · Europe · United Kingdom · Nov 2022