Legal Support

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) recognises that physical threats to the life, safety, wellbeing, and security of journalists and media organisations remain a serious concern in many European countries. The recent actions of some governments in passing laws that restrict the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media suggest that there is a need for advocacy against such laws or to improve existing legislation. Individual journalists, bloggers, activists, free speech advocates, non-governmental organisations, media outlets, and whistleblowers – especially those operating in countries with more restrictive governments – can find it difficult to find legal expertise and pay for adequate legal support. Organisations monitoring governments and parliaments may also need legal expertise to argue for better legislation.

ECPMF offers and coordinates legal support on matters related to free speech for individuals and organisations working in countries located geographically in Europe. Support will be available for, but not limited to, issues such as defamation, access to public documents, protection of sources, and whistleblowing.

Depending on ECPMF’s assessment, such support may consist of:

  • Financial support to cover lawyer’s fees and assistance in accessing relevant legal representation
  • General guidance
  • Access to expertise in policy and law making
  • Engagement in national or international litigation
  • Provision of independent analysis, observation or advocacy around a case

How to apply for legal support

Before you apply, please consult our guidelines. To apply, fill in this template with detailed information and send it to flutura.kusari@ecpmf.eu.

You can find rules of procedure of the legal affairs committee here.

The legal support programme is led by ECPMF’s legal advisor Flutura Kusari.
Contact: legal@ecpmf.eu and kusari@ecpmf.eu.

The ECPMF’s Legal Affairs Committee (LAC) will review each application for support to decide the appropriate response. The LAC is entrusted by the supervisory and executive boards of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom in accordance with article 13 of the ECPMF statute. The principle role of the LAC is to offer non-binding advice and guidance on any requests for legal support referring to the criteria catalogue of the LAC and Rules of Procedure. The final decision on whether to support any particular case lies with the ECPMF office, not LAC.

Current members of LAC

Ronan Ó Fathaigh, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Information Law, Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam (Biography)
Mandate: April 15, 2023 – April 14, 2025

Ingrida Milkaite, Postdoctoral researcher, Law & Technology research group, Faculty of Law and Criminology, Ghent University (Biography)

Mandate: February 1, 2024 – January 31, 2026

Evelyn Borg Costanzi, lawyer, Malta (Biography

Mandate: February 1, 2024 – January 31, 2026

 

Former members of LAC

Jonathan McCully, Legal Advisor, Digital Freedom Fund (Biography)
Mandate: July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2022 (two mandates)

Gill Philips, Director of Editorial Legal Services Guardian News & Media
Mandate: January 25, 2016 – January 31, 2020

Nani Jansen Reventlow, Director, Digital Freedom Fund
Mandate: January 25, 2016 – December 31, 2018

Stephan Ory, Director, Institute of European Media Law
Mandate: January 25, 2016 – January 31, 2020

Ravi Naik, director, AWO, (Biography)
Mandate: February 1, 2020 – January 31, 2023

Sarah Clarke, Head of Europe and Central Asia, Article 19 (Biography)
Mandate: February 1, 2020 – January 31, 2024

Linda Ravo, Senior Advocacy Consultant, Liberties 
Mandate: July 1, 2022 –  December 31, 2023

Get in contact

Email: legal@ecpmf.eu 

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