from English-speaking lawyers based in countries that are members of
the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to participate in
a forthcoming litigation workshop on the right to freedom of
expression, digital rights, and the Internet.
required to submit for discussion a current or potential case involving
these matters. Successful applicants will attend the litigation workshop
and become members of a digital rights legal network through which
there will be opportunity for engagement regionally and internationally.
West Africa Freedom of Expression & Digital Rights Litigation Workshop Objectives.
provides legal support to journalists, bloggers and independent media.
In recent years, it has supported a significant number of cases
involving online media. These have included challenging social media
blocking and Internet shutdowns, contesting cybercrimes legislation and
intermediary liability, as well as calling for greater online privacy
and source protection.
equip participants with skills and knowledge to litigate using national
and international laws as well as regional and international mechanisms
relevant to freedom of expression – both online and offline;
build a digital rights network and help facilitate its engagement with
international legal mechanisms and global civil society initiatives; and
- To assist and develop working relationships amongst lawyers undertaking such cases.
West Africa Freedom of Expression & Digital Rights Litigation Workshop Eligibility.
workshop is open to lawyers who work and reside in countries that are
members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS);
can either be working in private practice or be working for, or be
affiliated with, NGOs promoting the right to freedom of expression
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;
- Applicants must be proficient in English;
lawyers 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;
- The lawyers must have a demonstrated interest in and/or knowledge of international and regional human rights law;
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 workshop. 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 workshop;
- The cases submitted must involve a violation of the fundamental right to freedom of expression online;
- The following non-exhaustive list of themes are a guide for the type of cases that could be submitted with the application:
- Cybercrime laws;
- Intermediary liability;
- Internet shutdowns;
- Restriction of online media;
- Online privacy;
- National security; and
- Anonymity online.
is committed to equality of opportunity and diversity; and will
therefore consider gender, age and country of origin in its selection of
How to Apply for West Africa Freedom of Expression & Digital Rights Litigation Workshop 2018.
applicants will be notified soon after the closing date and should be
available for a Skype or telephone interview on 12, 13, and 14 June