Resource Centre: Media Laws

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 out about 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.