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Freedom of Expression Litigation Surgery for Central and Eastern Europe

Status: Closed

Organisation: Media Defence

Deadline: 18/03/2024

Location: Brussels

Media Defence is calling for applications from lawyers working in Central and Eastern Europe to participate in a litigation surgery on freedom of the media, with an emphasis on online speech and the impact of digital technology on journalists’ rights.

The litigation surgery will take place in Brussels, Belgium, on 15 and 16 May 2024.

Litigation surgery participants will have a chance to exchange knowledge and experience with their peers, including by discussing their ongoing cases. The surgery will enable a discussion of challenges presented by litigating media freedom cases. For instance sourcing cases, securing necessary evidence, building legal arguments, choosing appropriate remedies and legal fora, ensuring the client’s safety, and using litigation as a tool for changing laws and practices.

Applicants are required to provide a description of a current or potential case. The case must relate to freedom of expression (preferably involving journalists or media outlets). Those who do not have a current case of this kind may provide instead a law, practice or policy relating to freedom of expression that they intend to challenge through litigation.

Eligibility Criteria

A maximum of 12 participants will be selected will be selected on the following criteria:

  • The surgery is open to lawyers who work and reside in the following countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.
  • They must have a demonstrated interest in, and knowledge of, the right to freedom of expression. Ideally backed up by the experience of litigating freedom of expression cases.
  • 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 Central and Eastern Europe 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 cases will be considered as well.
  • Applicants must be sufficiently proficient in English to be able to participate freely in discussions and explain and dissect complex legal issues.
  • Applicants must be prepared to share and discuss freedom of expression cases they are litigating or intend to litigate.
  • The lawyers must demonstrate interest in international/European human rights law.
Application Guidelines

For more information about this opportunity and to apply, please click here. The deadline for applications is 18 March 2024.

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