2022 Media Defence East Africa Women Litigation Surgery

Deadline: June 27, 2022

Media Defence is calling for applications from women lawyers based in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda to participate in a forthcoming litigation surgery on the right to freedom of expression and digital rights, with particular focus on online violence against journalists.

This litigation surgery will be the first litigation training within the new project Empowering Women in Digital Rights Advocacy and is designed for women lawyers with demonstrated interest in building foundational knowledge around freedom of expression and litigating digital rights in East Africa.

The objectives of this litigation surgery are:

  • To develop knowledge about freedom of expression and its challenges online, with particular focus on online violence against journalists;
  • To engage with key principles of international law as well as with regional and international mechanisms relevant to litigating freedom of expression online;
  • To address legal challenges which are particularly relevant to women journalists and lawyers;
  • To discuss emerging trends in digital rights and potential litigation strategies;
  • To build a digital rights network and help facilitate its engagement with international legal mechanisms and global civil society initiatives; and
  • To support and develop working relationships amongst women lawyers who take on cases relating to digital rights and freedom of expression online and to whom women journalists can more easily turn.

Benefits

  • Successful applicants will be provided with learning material and invited to participate in the in-person East Africa Women Litigation Surgery in Nairobi, Kenya from 23 to 25 August 2022.
  • Participants will become active members of our Media Defence network, which will provide opportunities for engagement regionally and internationally in order to develop a sustainable network of women lawyers.

Eligibility

  • Open to women lawyers who work and reside in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda;
  • Applicants must have a demonstrated interest in and/or knowledge of freedom of expression, digital rights, internet freedom and/or related issues;
  • Applicants must be proficient in English;
  • The women 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;
  • With their application, applicants are requested to submit a case study of a case that they are litigating or intend to litigate and that could be discussed during the litigation surgery. However, it will be sufficient 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. Such participants must demonstrate their ability and willingness to pursue the case after the surgery;

The following non-exhaustive list of themes are a guide for the type of cases that could be submitted with the application:

  • Cybercrime laws
  • Access to the internet
  • Data privacy
  • Data protection
  • Defamation
  • Hate speech
  • National Security
  • Potential for future collaboration with Media Defence; and,
  • Commitment to the continued engagement with the network of digital rights lawyers in the region.

Application

Download and complete the application form and submit it to Hanna Uihlein at [email protected] The deadline for applications is June 27, 2022.

Click here to download the application form

For more information, visit East Africa Women Litigation Surgery.