South Africa: A mistrial for Oscar Pistorius? We think not – Dario Milo and Stuart Scott

15 07 2014

pistorius_2486158bOn Sunday night, Australia’s Channel 7 broadcast a video showing Oscar Pistorius apparently re-enacting various moments from the night he killed Reeva Steenkamp.  The footage was reportedly filmed in October 2013 by a US company, The Evidence Room, and reports say that it was commissioned by the defence team to assist with trial preparation in order to reconstruct Oscar Pistorius’ version of events. Read the rest of this entry »





South Africa: The Oscar Trial and the curious case of the media orders – Dario Milo and Stuart Scott

13 07 2014

judge-oscarIn an article we wrote recently for Sunday Times we briefly touched on three orders relating to the media that we suggest were incorrectly made by Judge Masipa during the Oscar Pistorius trial (for more detail on the first two orders see the earlier post on broadcasting the Oscar trial). Read the rest of this entry »





Is there room for a ‘right to be forgotten’ in South Africa? – Dario Milo and Avani Singh

17 06 2014

data-protection-and-cyberThe recent European Court of Justice ruling (available here) that effectively granted a Spanish national ‘a right to be forgotten’ has caused much stir as we wait to see precisely what implications this decision will have.  As expected, Google has reportedly received a flood of requests from people seeking to have their information removed from the Google search engine, including politicians, public figures and persons with criminal records. Read the rest of this entry »





Trial by Television, Lessons from Pretoria – Jonathan McCully

25 04 2014

Oscar Pistorius trialWhether cameras should be allowed into our courtrooms has been a much debated issue for over 20 years. In England and Wales the Supreme Court has been been filmed since its creation in 2009, whilst the Court of Appeal finally let the television cameras in on the 31st October 2013. So why should England and Wales take notice of the media’s handling of the Oscar Pistorius trial? Have we not now accepted cameras in our courts? Read the rest of this entry »





Was the High Court right to find that the DA’s SMS saying Zuma ‘stole’ was fair comment? – Dario Milo and Ben Winks

13 04 2014

ZumaOn Friday, 4 April 2014, in the case of African National Congress v Democratic Alliance ([2014] ZAGPJHC 58), the  the Johannesburg High Court that it was ‘fair comment’ for the Democratic Alliance (DA) to label President Zuma a thief in a bulk SMS sent to over 1.5 million recipients last month. The judgment raises important questions about the boundaries of free speech in a democratic society. Read the rest of this entry »





Broadcasting the Oscar Pistorius criminal trial – Dario Milo

4 04 2014

Oscar Pistorius trialIn the past weeks, hundreds of thousands of people around the world have been able to hear and see on television, radio and the Internet the evidence being led in the criminal trial of Oscar Pistorius. Pistorius stands accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s morning last year. Read the rest of this entry »





South Africa: Media Freedom, looking backward, looking forward – Dario Milo

26 01 2014

Dario-MiloLast year was a busy year for the media in South Africa. There have again been a number of court decisions that have given the media the breathing space it needs to function in our democracy. Read the rest of this entry »





South Africa, Oscar’s trial by media: the legalities – Dario Milo

11 06 2013

pistorius_2486158bWhat do President Jacob Zuma and Oscar Pistorius have in common?  In both their cases, the courts commented on the potentially harmful impact on the administration of justice of publicity about the case. Read the rest of this entry »





News: South Africa’s President Zuma abandons all his outstanding media libel actions

5 06 2013

Jacob ZumaOn Friday 31 May 2013 the spokesman for the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, announced that the President had “elected to withdraw” his legal claims against “various Media Groups“.   It was reported that the President felt that “measured as against the broader nation interest and challenges which the country is faced with, his personal sentiments, however aggrieved he may feel, must give way“.  This bland statement conceals one of  the most spectacular of all libel climb-downs by a politician. Read the rest of this entry »





Freedom of expression loses in Swaziland case – Dario Milo

30 04 2013

bheki-makhubu-smallLast week, the Swaziland High Court handed down a decision with grave implications for freedom of expression. The Nation magazine, an independent publisher, and its editor Bheki Makhubu were found guilty of the crime of contempt of court, fined 400,000 emalangeni (about £28,000), and ordered to pay half of the fine within three days of the decision or be imprisoned for two years.  Read the rest of this entry »








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