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

Date limite d'inscription: midnight on Sunday 28 April 2019.

L'Initiative de défense juridique des médias (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.

Objectifs de la chirurgie du litige

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;
  • Construire un réseau de droits numériques et faciliter son engagement avec les mécanismes juridiques internationaux et les initiatives de la société civile mondiale; et
  • Pour aider et développer des relations de travail parmi les avocats qui entreprennent de tels cas.


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

Critères d'admissibilité:

Les participants seront sélectionnés sur les critères suivants:

  • 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;
  • Les candidats doivent maîtriser l'anglais.
  • 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;
  • Les avocats doivent démontrer un intérêt et / ou une connaissance du droit international et régional des droits de l'homme;
  • 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;
  • Les cas soumis doivent impliquer une violation du droit fondamental à la liberté d'expression en ligne;
  • The following (non-exhaustive) list of themes are a guide for the type of cases that could be submitted with the application:
    • Les lois sur la cybercriminalité;
    • Responsabilité intermédiaire;
    • Fermetures d'Internet;
    • Restriction des médias en ligne;
    • Confidentialité en ligne
    • La sécurité nationale; et
    • Anonymat en ligne.

Comment s'inscrire:

Please complete the attached formulaire de demande and submit it to Michael Moss at [EMAIL PROTECTED] 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.

Pour plus d'informations:

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

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