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Call for Applications: Robert F. Kenny Human Rights Civic Space Litigation Surgery

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is calling for applications from lawyers and civil society organizations based in Africa to participate in a forthcoming litigation surgery on the protection of civic space. The litigation surgery will be held in Dakar on 10 – 11 May 2018. All applicants are required to submit a current or potential case involving the protection of civic space for discussion and workshopping.

Application Deadline: March 16, 2018


Eligibility for the Civic Space Litigation Surgery:

The litigation surgery is open to lawyers and civil society representatives from African Union member states, with a demonstrated commitment to addressing threats to civic space in their home country through regional human rights litigation.

  • The participants must be involved in, or considering, litigating a case or cases that address the suppression of civic space involving a violation of the rights to freedoms of expression, assembly, and/or association. With their application, they must submit a case that they are litigating or intend to litigate before an African human rights body that could be discussed and workshopped during the litigation surgery.
  • The following non-exhaustive list of themes are a guide for the types of cases that could be submitted with the application:
    • Suppression of peaceful protests
    • Burdensome regulatory restrictions on civil society organizations
    • Suppression of the media and access to information 
    • Abuse of laws or policies in the context of countering terrorism 
    • Impunity for threats, violence, and arbitrary detention
  • While all civic space cases will be considered, the board encourages cases that touch on an intersectionality of issues and/or address untested or developing areas of regional human rights jurisprudence including:
    • Cases that highlight the role of multinational corporations and the suppression of civic space;
    • Cases that link the suppression of civic space to economic, social, and cultural rights — in particular environmental rights;
    • Cases that demonstrate how the suppression of civic space uniquely affects women, sexual minorities, persons with disabilities, or refugees and internally displaced persons;
    • Cases that address the link between the suppression of civic space and corruption.

Click here to download the application form

More information @theAfricanScholar

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