Media Law


National security and free expression: Lessons from South Africa
11 Apr 2016

National security and free expression: Lessons from South Africa

(Cartoon by Zapiro. All rights reserved – For more Zapiro cartoons visit www.zapiro.com) Increasing restrictions on free speech – in the name of “national security” – are occurring across Africa. Journalists and civil society should investigate and mount campaigns against this development. National security is a term many governments use and abuse to limit basic human rights, including media freedom and broader freedom of expression...

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African Platform for Access to Information Declaration 2011
11 Apr 2016

African Platform for Access to Information Declaration 2011

The African Platform on Access to Information (APAI) declaration was adopted at the Pan African Conference on Access to Information (PACAI), held in Cape Town, South Africa. Here are the key principles: Fundamental Right Accessible to Everyone Access to information is a fundamental human right, it is open to everyone. Maximum Disclosure All information held by public bodies is public and should be subject to...

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No justice without the right to know
11 Apr 2016

No justice without the right to know

South Africa’s access to information legislation is regarded as among the best in the world. But is it really working in the struggle for social justice? I remember one cold night in a community hall in a working-class township of Cape Town. A group of about 50 backyard dwellers were meeting to discuss their struggle to acquire formal housing. Upon our request, they had also...

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African media law: Time to throw off the shackles
11 Apr 2016

African media law: Time to throw off the shackles

Free media in Africa faces many challenges. Those include colonial-era laws that restrict free thought and expression, and which are holding the continent back. In the heady early 1990s in Africa, it seemed like every country on the continent was re-examining its political landscape and promising democratic reform. The 1991 Windhoek Declaration placed a free and independent African media squarely on the map and reform...

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