West Africa Digital Rights and Freedom of Expression Litigation Surgery 2019 for ECOWAS-based Lawyers (Fully Funded to Accra, Ghana)

Prazo de inscrição: midnight on Sunday 28 April 2019.

A Iniciativa de Defesa Legal de Mídia (MLDI) is a charity, based in the United Kingdom, which provides legal help to journalists, bloggers and independent media across the world. We support journalists’ legal defence, undertake strategic litigation, fund media defence centres, and strengthen capacity in the legal community through practical, specialised training and network-building.

MLDI is calling for applications from English-speaking lawyers based in countries that are members of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and the Republic of Cameroon to participate in a practical litigation workshop on the right to freedom of expression, digital rights and the internet.

Successful applicants will be funded to attend the litigation surgery in early July in Accra, Ghana. After completing the training, attendees will also become active members of a digital rights legal network through which there will be opportunity for engagement regionally and internationally.

All lawyers wishing to apply are required to submit a current or potential case involving freedom of expression, digital rights and the internet, for discussion in the legal workshop. If applicants do not have a case, they may submit a relevant law, practice or policy relating to digital rights or freedom of expression that they would like to challenge in court.

Objetivos da cirurgia contenciosa

MLDI provides legal support to journalists, bloggers and independent media. In recent years, MLDI has supported a significant number of cases involving online media. These have included challenging social media blocking and internet shutdowns, contesting cybercrimes legislation, ‘false news’ laws and intermediary liability, as well as calling for greater protections for online privacy and source protection.

The objectives of this specialised litigation surgery training are:

  • To equip participants with the practical skills and knowledge to litigate using national and international laws as well as regional and international mechanisms relevant to freedom of expression online;
  • Criar uma rede de direitos digitais e ajudar a facilitar seu envolvimento com mecanismos legais internacionais e iniciativas globais da sociedade civil; e
  • Auxiliar e desenvolver relações de trabalho entre os advogados que realizam esses casos.


MLDI will cover airfare, accommodation, travel expenses and a modest per diem.

Requisitos de elegibilidade:

Os participantes serão selecionados nos seguintes critérios:

  • The surgery is open to lawyers who work and reside countries that are members of the ECOWAS (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo) and the Republic of Cameroon;
  • Applicants can either be working in private practice or be working for or be affiliated with NGOs promoting the right to freedom of expression in West 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;
  • Os candidatos devem ser proficientes em inglês;
  • They must have a demonstrated interest in and/or knowledge of the right to online freedom of expression, digital rights, internet freedom and/or related issues;
  • Os advogados devem demonstrar interesse e / ou conhecimento das leis internacionais e regionais de direitos humanos;
  • With their application, applicants are requested to submit a case study of a case that they are either currently litigating or that they intend to litigate, which may be discussed during the litigation surgery. As set out above, it will suffice for participants who do not have a case that is pending to have identified a relevant law, practice or policy relating to online freedom of expression that they would like to challenge in court. However, such participants must demonstrate their ability and willingness to pursue the case after the surgery;
  • Os casos submetidos devem envolver uma violação do direito fundamental à liberdade de expressão online;
  • The following (non-exhaustive) list of themes are a guide for the type of cases that could be submitted with the application:
    • Leis de cibercrime;
    • Responsabilidade intermediária;
    • Desligamentos da Internet;
    • Restrição de mídia online;
    • Privacidade online;
    • Segurança nacional; e
    • Anonimato online.

Como aplicar:

Please complete the attached formulário de candidatura and submit it to Michael Moss at [Email protegido] before the deadline of midnight on Sunday 28 April 2019.

Shortlisted applicants will be notified soon after the closing date and should be available for a Skype or telephone interview on 8, 9 or 10 May 2019.

Para maiores informações:

Visit the Official Webpage of the West Africa Digital Rights and Freedom of Expression Litigation Surgery 2019


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