Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI) provides legal support to journalists under threat. We remain the only organisation globally to focus on providing specialist legal defence to independent media. MLDI does this exclusively and with great results.
MLDI has won journalists and bloggers their freedom and has also gained ground-breaking judgements at national and international courts. These judgements have widened space for media freedom and freedom of expression, for example, restricting the use of criminal libel laws, protecting the confidentiality of journalistic sources, and recognising the right of access to information.
MLDI is hiring a Legal Director to lead our legal strategies and advance media freedoms globally. The Legal Director leads a small and dedicated team while working closely with a large network of pro-bono lawyers and law firms. They must have excellent strategic and creative legal thinking, a global and international outlook, and passion.
Through our emergency defence fund, any independent media, journalist or blogger under legal threat can request support for a case. If accepted, MLDI provides funding for legal fees and works with a lawyer in-country to provide the best quality advice and advocacy.
We take strategic cases to challenge repressive laws, enabling journalists, independent media and bloggers to continue their work and improving the regulatory environment for media freedom
And we provide financial and technical support to organizations to run media defence programmes, building the legal capacity of organisations and lawyers around the world and enabling them to provide legal defence and advice to hundreds of journalists each year
Last year we provided legal defence to around 600 journalists, independent media and bloggers, supporting cases, partners and specialist media lawyers in 46 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and MENA. Our Legal Director oversees cases that set important international law precedents:
In 2014, MLDI took the first free speech case to the African Court of Human Rights, concerning a Burkinabé journalist. Our work won MLDI the Columbia University Freedom of Expression Award and has set an international precedent, now relied on in cases across Africa and the rest of the world, prohibiting imprisonment for defamation.Our current caseload includes working with Doughty Street Chambers’ barrister Amal Clooney,in a case before the European Court of Human Rights concerning Azerbaijan investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova. She has faced sham charges and imprisonment relating to her journalistic work.
This an exciting opportunity, for the right lawyer, to undertake responsibility for a critical role in a unique and dynamic international charity at the forefront of global freedom of expression litigation. Further details can be found here.