Application Deadline: Monday 16 May 2016
The Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI) is pleased to announce that it is calling for applications from lawyers based in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi to participate in a forthcoming litigation surgery on the right to freedom of expression. All applicants are required to submit for discussion and workshopping a current or potential case involving a violation of the right to freedom of expression.
The litigation surgery will be held in Kampala, Uganda from 8 – 11 August 2016.
A litigation surgery is a focused seminar where participants are able to present a case they are working on to peers and experts and have a discussion about the case. The surgeries focus on preliminary problem identification, framing of violations, formulation of human rights arguments and remedies. The surgeries also provide an in-depth understanding of strategic litigation and litigating before regional and international human rights bodies.
Litigation surgery objectives
MLDI provides legal support to journalists, bloggers and independent media worldwide to enable them to continue with their reporting. A significant portion of MLDI’s work is currently conducted in the East African region; consequently MLDI is continually seeking to strengthen its network of lawyers to work within the region to further the regional freedom of expression framework.
In light of this, the objective of the litigation surgery is threefold:
- to identify and provide substantive support to cases on the right to freedom of expression that could be pursued before domestic and/or international fora;
- to assist, and build working relationships with, lawyers undertaking such cases; and
- to equip the participants with the necessary skills and knowledge regarding the international human rights mechanisms available for pursuing freedom of expression cases in East Africa.
Criteria for eligibility
Participants will be selected on the following criteria:
- The surgery is open to lawyers from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi;
- The lawyers can either be working in private practice, or be working for or be affiliated with NGOs promoting the right to freedom of expression in East Africa through litigation;
- Exceptionally strong applications from lawyers who have not yet undertaken freedom of expression work, but have experience litigating other human rights cases and have a strong interest in undertaking freedom of expression work will be considered as well. A maximum of 12 participants will be selected;
- The lawyers must have a demonstrated interest in, and/or knowledge of the right to freedom of expression and/or related issues;
- The lawyers must have a demonstrated interest in, and/or knowledge of international and regional human rights law;
- The lawyers must be involved in, or considering, litigating a case or cases that address violations of the right to freedom of expression. With their application, they must submit a case study of a case that they are litigating or intend to litigate that could be discussed and workshopped during the litigation surgery;
- The cases submitted must involve a violation of the fundamental right to freedom of expression as protected in a national constitution, African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the East African Community Treaty or any other relevant domestic/international human rights instrument; and
- The following non-exhaustive list of themes are a guide for the type of cases that could be submitted with the application:
- (criminal) defamation;
- restriction of the media by means of regulatory measures;
- physical safety of journalists;
- protection of sources; or
- national security.
Please note that the working language for the surgery will be English.
- MLDI will cover airfare, accommodation, a modest per diem and other related costs.
How to apply
Shortlisted applicants will be notified soon after the closing date and should be available for Skype or telephone interviews on 6 to 8 June 2016.
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