Using International Law to Defend Free Speech in the Digital Age: A Guide for Human Rights Advocates

International Senior Lawyers Project

"This toolkit was created by International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) to share strategies for defending media freedoms in the digital age with lawyers and human rights defenders. ISLP’s Media Law Working Group has, for the past 20 years, protected freedom of expression by supporting journalists and watchdog non-governmental organizations that investigate, report on, and litigate matters involving the right to freedom of expression. ISLP’s Media Law Working Group also provides legal advice on telecommunications, freedom of information, and privacy laws. ISLP believes that freedom of expression is necessary for a transparent, accountable, and democratic government and is the foundation of a free society. This toolkit was developed from the publishers’ experience working with lawyers, journalists, and human rights defenders in Southern and Eastern Africa. ISLP has worked with local Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) chapters to train lawyers and human rights defenders from Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe on protecting freedom of expression using international law arguments. The practical information provided in this toolkit is designed to enable local advocates to use international law in regional bodies to defend freedom of expression and argue for stronger human rights protections in SADC. This resource focuses on international law arguments to defeat criminal defamation and cyber libel charges brought against journalists and bloggers."


International Senior Lawyers Project. 'Using International Law to Defend Free Speech in the Digital Age: A Guide for Human Rights Advocates'. 2023.