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 »





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, 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 »





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 »





South Africa: National security versus freedom of speech – Dario Milo

12 04 2013

Fallen_Heroes.jpgThis year seems destined to go down in South African constitutional history as the one in which the battle between free speech and national security was fought.  The contest between these competing interests was brought into sharp focus again this week, in President Jacob Zuma’s message of condolence at the memorial service of the 13 soldiers tragically killed in the Central African Republic (CAR). Read the rest of this entry »





South Africa, Review of the Year: Media in a contest for freedom – Dario Milo and Pamela Stein

16 12 2012

4066134253As 2012 draws to a close, it is timely to take stock of some of the more important developments in the area of media law this year.

The courts have been very active in building on the solid foundation of media freedom which section 16 of our constitution protects.

The most important decision of the year was the Constitutional Court’s ruling in September in the challenge brought by Print Media South Africa and the South African National Editors’ Forum against aspects of the Films and Publications Act of 1996. Read the rest of this entry »





South Africa: Zuma v Zapiro and the rape of the justice system – Dario Milo

8 11 2012

On 29 October 2012, President Zuma formally withdrew his defamation claim against Sunday Times, Mondli Makhanya and the cartoonist Zapiro, and offered to pay 50% of their legal costs. The claim related to Zapiro’s “rape of justice” cartoon. Given that Zuma’s original claim was for R4 million in damages to his reputation and R 1 million in damages to his dignity, as well as legal costs and interest, the withdrawal – which sees Zuma paying money to those he sued and not the other way round – has rightly been hailed as a victory for the defendants. Read the rest of this entry »





State of Media Freedom in South Africa, Part 1, Introduction – Dario Milo

24 10 2012

This is the first part  of a speech delivered on Press Freedom day, 19 October 2012 at Wits University.  The second and third parts will be posted later this week

I am honoured to have been asked to talk about the state of media freedom on this important occasion, as we commemorate the 35th anniversary of Black Wednesday, 19 October 1977.  Read the rest of this entry »








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