It was a great day for internet freedoms when Justice John Mativo declared criminal defamation as unconstitutional.

The judge ruled that Section 194 of the Penal Code violates the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed under Article 33 of the Constitution.

Jackqueline Okuta and Jackson Njeru who had been charged under the section filed a constitutional petition challenging the legality of the law. They had been charged by lawyer Cecil Miller for defaming him on Facebook.

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The petitioners sued Attorney-General Githu Muigai and Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko while Article 19, an international freedom of expression advocate, was enjoined as an interested party in the case.

Justice John Mativo affirmed there is already an appropriate and satisfactory alternative remedy for defamation.