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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 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

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

Scanlen & Holderness v Zimbabwe (2009)

The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights held that legislation which introduced an onerous regime for the accreditation of journalists infringed the rights to freedom of expression and to receive information.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Zimbabwe · Nov 2022

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights v. Zimbabwe (2009)

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held that Zimbabwe violated various rights by using force instead of seeking a Court order to stop a media outlet from operating illegally under a media registration law.

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Zimbabwe · Nov 2022

Koko v Tanton (2021)

The Johannesburg High Court in South Africa held that a defamation case brought by a former executive of a state entity constituted a SLAPP suit.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · South Africa · Nov 2022

OOO Memo v Russia (2022)

The European Court of Human Rights referred for the first time to the notion of SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) in a civil defamation suit brought by a Russian regional state body against a media company.

local_fire_department Defamation & reputation · pan_tool Censorship by private actors · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Europe · Russian Federation · Nov 2022

SERAP v Federal Republic of Nigeria (2022)

The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice ruled that Nigeria’s banning of Twitter was unlawful and that access to Twitter is a “derivative right” that is “complementary to the enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression.”

record_voice_over Freedom of expression · portable_wifi_off Restricting Internet access & online content · gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Africa · Nigeria · Nov 2022

Module 11: Introduction to UN Mechanisms (South and Southeast Asia Module Series)

The United Nations has several mechanisms that contribute to the promotion of human rights, including treaty bodies tasked with overseeing the implementation of core human rights treaties. Part of the Modules on Litigating Freedom of Expression and Digital Rights in South and Southeast Asia.

gavel Litigating freedom of expression · Asia · Global · Sep 2022

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