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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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SAHRC on behalf of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies v Masuku (2022)

The Constitutional Court of South Africa found that most disparaging statements made about “Zionism” were not targeted at members of the Jewish faith or ethnicity and did not constitute hate speech, while one of the statements did.

thumb_down_alt Hate speech · Africa · South Africa · Nov 2022

Economic Freedom Fighters v Minister of Justice (2020)

The Constitutional Court of South Africa held that a provision criminalising incitement to “any offence” was overly broad and an infringement of the right to freedom of expression.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · Africa · South Africa · Nov 2022

Qwelane v South African Human Rights Commission (2021)

The Constitutional Court of South Africa held that a provision creating criminal liability for hate speech was unconstitutional, holding that hate speech must be both harmful or incite harm and promote hatred.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · Africa · South Africa · Nov 2022

The Gambia v Facebook (2021)

In a discovery request, the US District Court held that Facebook must disclose de-platformed content and internal investigation documents relating to the incitement of ethnic hatred against the Rohingyas in Myanmar.

portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · North America · US · Nov 2022

Module 6: Hate Speech (South and Southeast Asia Module Series)

International law requires states to ban hate speech which intentionally incites to violence, hatred or discrimination, but not that actual harm results. The biggest danger with hate speech is that vagueness in defining its meaning may allow such laws to be used as tools to stifle legitimate criticism or political speech. Part of the Modules on Litigating Freedom of Expression and Digital Rights in South and Southeast Asia.

thumb_down_alt Hate speech · Asia · Sep 2022

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

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

Summary Module 10: Introduction to Litigating Digital Rights in Africa (sub-Saharan 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 6: Hate Speech (sub-Saharan Africa)

It is important to find the right balance between speech that is offensive, yet important for freedom of expression and dissent, and speech which constitutes impermissible hate speech.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · thumb_down_alt Hate speech · Africa · Jan 2021

Summary Module 2: Introduction to Digital Rights (sub-Saharan Africa)

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