Media Defense East Africa Women Litigation Surgery for Women Lawyers.

Application Deadline: June 27, 2022

Media Defense is calling on female lawyers in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda to participate in an upcoming trial operation on the right to freedom of expression and digital rights, with a special focus on online violence against journalists. This litigation practice will be the first litigation training within our new project Empowering Women in Digital Rights Advocacy and is aimed at female lawyers with a demonstrated interest in building fundamental knowledge around freedom of expression and litigating digital rights in East Africa.

Successful applicants will be provided with learning materials and invited to participate in the in-person East Africa Women Litigation Surgery in Nairobi, Kenya from August 23-25, 2022. Participants will become active members of our Media Defense network, which
opportunities for involvement at regional and international level to develop a sustainable network of female lawyers.

The objectives of this process surgery are:

To develop knowledge about freedom of expression and its online challenges, with a special focus on online violence against journalists; To engage with key principles of international law and with regional and international mechanisms relevant to litigating freedom of expression online; To address legal challenges that are particularly relevant to female journalists and lawyers; Discuss emerging trends in digital rights and potential litigation strategies; Build a digital rights network and engage with international legal mechanisms and global civil society initiatives help facilitate; and To support and develop working relationships between female lawyers handling cases related to digital rights and freedom of expression online and to whom female journalists can more easily turn.


The litigation practice is open to female lawyers who work and live in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda; issues; Candidates must be proficient in English; The female lawyers may either work in private practice or work 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 championed freedom of expression, but who have experience litigating other human rights cases and have a strong interest in undertaking freedom of expression, will also be considered; Applicants are requested with their application to provide a case study of a case they are or are planning to litigate that could be discussed during the litigation process. However, it is sufficient if participants who do not have a case pending have identified a relevant law, practice or policy related to online freedom of expression that they wish to challenge in court. Such participants must demonstrate that they are able and willing to continue the business after surgery;
 Cybercrime Laws
 Internet access
 Data Privacy
 Data Protection
 Slander
Hate Speech
 National Security
 Potential for future collaboration with Media Defense; and, Commitment to ongoing engagement with the region’s digital rights advocates network. A maximum of 12 participants will be selected. Media Defense is committed to equality and diversity and will therefore take gender, age and country of origin into account when selecting participants. Due to gender inequality in past litigation practices, this event is exclusively for female lawyers.

How to apply?

Complete the application form available here and send it to Hanna Uihlein at: [email protected] The deadline for applications is June 27, 2022. Shortlisted applicants will be notified shortly after the closing date.

For more information:

Visit official website of the Media Defense East Africa Women Litigation Surgery

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