Resource centre: Media laws, cases and analyses

The legal environment and free expression
Laws can help citizens exercise their right to free expression – for example, access to information laws or national constitutions guaranteeing the right to freedom of expression and freedom of information.

Laws can also be used to restrict free expression and media freedom. For example, governments and private citizens may use defamation and libel laws to prosecute media workers and citizens for speaking against  injustices. And, governments and public institutions may use privacy and security laws to restrict access to public information.

Database of legislation and case law affecting free expression in Africa
Legislation refers to laws (called Acts or Statutes) enacted by parliament, while case law is law based on the reported decisions of judges in cases that come before them. In their decisions, judges give the relevant facts of the case and the legal reasoning they applied to reach their decision.


A newspaper had published a story exposing a corruption scandal in which a number of Ministers of Government and other senior officials were implicated. The plaintiff, a Government Minister, was ...





The applicants, Mark Chavunduka and Ray Choto, journalists at independent newspaper The Standard challenged the constitutionality of the false news provision found in Section 50 of the Law and Order ...






Court case better former President of Zimbabwe Canaan Banana and the State. The applicant applied for a permanent stay of the criminal proceedings against him on the basis that there was there was a ...