“Any Act of Government or any law that is inconsistent with the
provisions of this Constitution shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be invalid.”
Section 44 of the constitution stipulates that there “shall be no
derogation, restrictions or limitation” to fundamental human rights
such as the right to life or the prohibition of torture - freedom of
expression is not listed in this section. It can thus be limited by laws
“which are reasonable, recognized by international human rights
standards and necessary in an open and democratic society”.
There are still some 40 pieces of legislation on the statute books
which seem to be unreasonable and not necessary in an open and
democratic society. One example is the Protected Names, Flags and
Emblems Act which has been used several times to limit freedom
of expression of individuals such as an opposition leader or journalists critical of the state president. This act has recently been challenged in court to determine if it is limiting freedom of the press.
Judgement in this regard is still outstanding as is the case in many
other attempts of litigation: they are either dropped or drag on for
a long time.
Individual scores:

3, 2, 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2, 3, 2

Average score:



The right to freedom of expression is practised and
citizens, including journalists, are asserting their
rights without fear.

The majority of people simply do not know that they have the right
to freedom of expression.

African Media Barometer - Malawi 2006

Select target paragraph3