CLOSE

Call for Applications: Freedom of Expression Litigation Surgery for Women Lawyers from South and Southeast Asia

Call for Applications: Freedom of Expression Litigation Surgery for Women Lawyers from South and Southeast Asia

3-5 September 2024, Kathmandu, Nepal


Media Defence is calling for applications from lawyers based in Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam to participate in a forthcoming litigation surgery on the right to freedom of expression aimed at women lawyers. The litigation surgery will take place in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 3 to 5 September 2024.

Participants will become active members of a press freedom legal network through which there will be opportunity for engagement regionally and internationally. All applicants are required to submit for discussion a current or potential case relating to freedom of expression. If applicants do not have a case, they may submit a relevant law, practice or policy relating to freedom of expression that they would like to challenge in court.

Litigation surgery objectives

Media Defence provides legal support to journalists, bloggers and independent media. In recent years, Media Defence has supported a significant number of cases involving online media. These have included criminal and civil defamation, challenging social media blocking and Internet shutdowns, contesting cybercrimes legislation, ‘false news’, as well as calling for greater protections for privacy and source protection. In this context, this litigation surgery will serve as an introduction to digital rights and relevant legal knowledge tailored to women lawyers in South and Southeast Asia.

Specifically, the objectives of the litigation surgery are:

• To equip participants with skills and knowledge to litigate using national and international laws as well as international mechanisms relevant to freedom of expression;
• To build a press freedom network and help facilitate its engagement with international legal mechanisms and global civil society initiatives;
• To assist and develop working relationships amongst lawyers undertaking such cases;
• 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.

Media Defence will meet these objectives through three days of on-site sessions consisting of presentations, discussions and knowledge sharing which build on our modules on freedom of expression and digital rights in South and Southeast Asia.

Criteria for eligibility

Participants will be selected on the following criteria:

• The surgery is open to women lawyers who work and reside in the following countries: Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam;
• 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 Asia-Pacific 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.
• A maximum of 12 participants will be selected;
• Applicants must be proficient in English;
• They 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;
• 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. The cases submitted must involve a violation of the fundamental right to freedom of expression. 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 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;
• The following non-exhaustive list of themes are a guide for the type of cases that could be submitted with the application:
• Defamation (criminal or civil);
• Violence against journalists, including physical attacks and online violence;
• Restriction of online or print media;
• Online privacy; and
• National security.

Media Defence is committed to advancing equality and diversity and will therefore consider age and country of origin in its selection of participants. Media Defence is committed to hosting inclusive and accessible events. If you require any support or reasonable adjustments to participate, please inform us either during the application process or after participant selection. Please see the FAQs section below for more information.

How to apply

Please complete the online application form here or submit the application form to training@mediadefence.org. The deadline is 8 July 2024.

Shortlisted applicants will be notified soon after the closing date.

For information about how Media Defence will use and protect your data, please see our privacy policy.

Deadline for applications: 8 July 2024

Recent News

Azerbaijan held liable for blocking Radio Free Europe’s websites by ECtHR

The case relates to the blocking of RFE’s websites in 2017, and was one of four separate cases involving website blocking that were considered by the European Court of Human Rights (‘ECtHR’). The websites were blocked with immediate effect, pending an application for a court order by the relevant government agency. According to the government, […]

Read

Media Defence Files Intervention at European Court to Protect Anonymity Online

Media Defence has filed a third-party intervention before the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Koumiotis v Greece to protect anonymity online. The case concerns criminal proceedings against the applicant, the owner and manager of an online blog. The applicant, following a series of posts criticising a businessman, was convicted of slanderous defamation. The […]

Read

Call for Consultants: Independent evaluation of ‘International Network of Internet Freedom Lawyers (INIFL)’ multi-regional project

1. About Media Defence Media Defence’s Vision A world where journalists no longer face legal challenges that threaten their ability to report freely and independently on issues of public interest, allowing citizens to be better informed, able to hold those in power to account. Media Defence’s Mission  To ensure legal protection of journalists and media […]

Read