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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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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

Gender & Online Harassment: Factsheet

Note: this Factsheet deals with issues of a sensitive nature relating to harassment and gender-based violence. The relationship between gender and online harassment Online harassment and intimidation through text messages, phone calls or social media — often known as cyberstalking or cyber-harassment — severely restricts the enjoyment that persons have of their rights online, particularly…

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · local_police Cybercrimes · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · Apr 2021

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

Summary Module 10: Introduction to Litigating Digital Rights in Africa

Strategic litigation is a powerful tool to advance digital rights and it is increasingly being used in a variety of different and innovative ways.

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 · Jan 2021

Summary Module 9: National Security

“National security” is one of the most common justifications offered by states for limiting freedom of expression but is also sometimes used to quell dissent and cover up state abuses.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Jan 2021

Summary Module 8: ‘False news,’ Misinformation and Propaganda

While acknowledging the social ills occasioned by false news and misinformation, courts and international actors maintain that general and over-broad provisions which criminalise false news and misinformation violate the right to freedom of expression.

pan_tool Censorship by private actors · dvr False news, misinformation & propaganda · Africa · Jan 2021

Summary Module 3: Access to the Internet

An express right to the internet has not been recognised in international law. However, it is widely accepted that access to the internet enables a variety of other fundamental rights.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · Africa · Jan 2021

Summary Module 2: Introduction to Digital Rights

Digital rights — which include the right to freedom of expression, privacy and access to information — are the same fundamental human rights as those enjoyed offline but adapted to a new age of technology

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 · Jan 2021

Summary Module 1: Key Principles of International Law and Freedom of Expression

Overview of the right to freedom of expression and how it is protected under international law.

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 · Jan 2021

Explaining the Issues: The Right to be Forgotten

In our Explaining the Issues series, we explain legal issues faced by the media – this instalment covers the right to be forgotten.

phonelink_lock Digital rights · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · fingerprint Privacy, security & data protection · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Europe · Dec 2020