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 »

South Africa: The Constitutional Court upholds the right to publish and be damned – Dario Milo

7 10 2012

Last week, the South African Constitutional Court handed down a momentous ruling on freedom of speech.  The case of Print Media South Africa v Minister of Home Affairs ([2012] ZACC 22) concerned the constitutionality of aspects of the Films and Publications Act, 1996 (the Act) following its amendment in 2009.  Read the rest of this entry »

Kate Middleton’s topless photographs and the law of privacy, the view from South Africa – Dario Milo and Emma Sadleir

4 10 2012

The law of privacy has once again been thrust into the spotlight in the aftermath of the publication of topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, by French magazine Closer, rapidly followed by a newspaper in Ireland, and magazines in Italy, Norway and Denmark. Read the rest of this entry »

South Africa: The five ingredients for a constitutional national security law – Dario Milo

9 08 2012

As South Africa’s parliament finalises its debate on the Protection of State Information Bill, [pdf] it is important to take a step back from the detail and go back to basic principles. Read the rest of this entry »


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