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:

  • General guidance
  • Access to legal advice on relevant law and strategy
  • External assistance (for example in submitting a case to court, watching briefs, oral advocacy)
  • Access to expertise in policy and law making
  • Engagement in national or international litigation (directly or indirectly).

How to apply for legal support

Before you apply, please consult our criteria.

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

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

Application Form



I have requested legal support for the same case elsewhere (required)
E.G. the publication or broadcast concerned, lawsuit or any other complaint, court decision, any other legal document relevant for the case

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

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

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

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

Former members of LAC

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

Support

Get in contact

Signal: +49 176 43839637

Email: support@ecpmf.eu

If you are a journalist searching for help through one of ECPMF’s support programmes, you can get in contact with us.

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