June 14, 2024

Call for Applications: Digital Rights Litigation Surgery| 20–24 February 2022, Abuja

The Digital Rights Lawyers Initiative (DRLI) is calling for applications from lawyers based in all the 36 states of Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory to participate in a fully funded litigation surgery on digital rights including right to privacy, data protection, freedom of expression online, digital assets etc. Successful applicants will attend the litigation surgery and become members of a digital rights litigators’ network through which there will be opportunity for immediate engagement locally, regionally and internationally.

Litigation Surgery Objectives

DRLI provides legal support to citizens, journalists, bloggers and independent media in Nigeria. In recent years, DRLI has supported a significant number of cases involving privacy, data protection, digital assets, freedom of expression online and all other digital rights. These have included challenging violation of right to privacy and data protection, ownership of digital assets, social media blocking and Internet shutdowns, contesting cybercrimes legislation, ‘fake news’ regulations and intermediary liability, as well as advancing greater online privacy and source protection.

The objectives of the litigation surgery are:

  • To equip participants with skills and knowledge to litigate using national and international laws as well as regional and international mechanisms relevant to right to privacy, data protection, online freedom of expression online as well as all other digital rights; 
  • To build a digital rights network and help facilitate its engagement with international legal mechanisms and global civil society initiatives; and 
  • To assist and develop working relationships amongst lawyers undertaking such cases.

Criteria for Eligibility 

Participants will be selected on the following criteria: 

  • The surgery is open to lawyers who work and reside within Nigeria. 
  • Applicants can either be working in private practice or be working for, or be affiliated with, NGOs promoting the right to privacy, data protection and online freedom of expression through litigation. 
  • Applicants must have a demonstrated interest in and/or knowledge of the digital rights and/or related issues. Exceptionally strong applications from lawyers who have not yet undertaken cases on right to privacy, data protection and online freedom of expression work, but have experience litigating other human rights cases and have a strong interest in undertaking cases on right to privacy, data protection and online freedom of expression will be considered as well. 
  • A maximum of 25 participants will be selected; 
  • Applicants must be proficient in English language;
  • With their application, applicants are requested to submit a case study of a case that they are litigating or intend to litigate and that could be discussed during the litigation surgery. As set out above, it will suffice for participants who do not have a case that is pending to have identified a relevant law, practice or policy relating to right to privacy, data protection, ownership of digital assets and online freedom of expression that they would like to challenge in court. However, such participants must demonstrate their ability and willingness to pursue the cases or other assigned cases immediately  after the surgery;
  • The cases submitted must involve a violation and/or likely of the fundamental right to any of the digital rights. The following non-exhaustive list of themes are a guide for the type of cases that could be submitted with the application: 
  • Cybercrime laws; 
  • Data protection laws;
  • Internet shutdowns; 
  • Restriction of online media; 
  • Online privacy;
  • National security; and
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Anonymity online. 

DRLI is committed to equality of opportunity and diversity and will therefore consider gender and age in its selection of participants. Female lawyers are strongly encouraged to apply. 

How to apply

Prepare and submit your Cv and application to Irene Chukwukelu at legal@digitalrightslawyers.org. The deadline is 7th January, 2022. 

Shortlisted applicants will be notified soon after the closing date and should be available for a Zoom or telephone interview between 17th January – 19th January, 2022.

Deadline for Applications: Friday 7th January, 2022.

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