Press Freedom in Africa: How can States Achieve Compliance with African Court and AU Standards, Online and Offline


Over the past few years, the African regional and sub regional courts have handed down important decisions affecting States’ obligations to uphold press freedom and protect the right to freedom of expression. The Banjul Charter’s Article 9 codifies AU Member States’ obligations regarding free speech. The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in a recent landmark decision, Lohé Issa Konaté v. Burkina Faso, held that imprisonment as a penalty for defamation was in violation of States’ obligations under Article 9. In a previous judgment the Court found that the State’s failure to properly investigate and prosecute the perpetrators in the case of the killing an investigative journalist constituted a violation of its obligations under both Article 7 (fair trial) and Article 9. In parallel, tensions grow in the intersection between cybersecurity and the exercise of the right to free expression online across the continent, and the issue of access to information has been put firmly on the map, in part due to an active campaign by the African Commission. How can AU Member States navigate these norms and ensure they are compliant with their obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights?

ASIL is a cosponsor of this event. 

Date and Location

Friday, November 4, 2016 - 1:15pm to 2:45pm
Columbia Law School, Jerome Green Hall, Room 304
Address 1: 
435 W 116th Sttreet
New York
Zip Code: