On June 11th, 2016, classes for the 12th edition of the International Summer School on Media Law began for 28 lawyers from 7 countries. The summer school is organised by the Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law (formerly known as the Media Law Institute), in collaboration with IREX Europe through European Union funding and with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The three-week training focused on both the theoretical and practical aspects of protection of freedom of expression and information, legal regulation of television and radio broadcasting, protection of business reputation and professional activities of the mass media.
The profiles of participants vary from experienced lawyers to final year law school students, all seeking to improve their knowledge in media law and actively cooperate with journalists and media workers in their home countries. The 2016 summer school offered participants a unique opportunity to attend lectures and workshops by leading media law experts and champions of freedom of the press such as Richard Winfield, co-founder of International Senior Lawyers Project, Nataša Pirc Musar, former Slovenian Information Commissioner and Barbora Bukovská, ARTICLE 19’s Senior Director for Law and Policy.
The three-week programme provides participants with the opportunity to learn more about international and European standards in the field of media law, in particular the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and practices of the European Court of Human Rights. The course also covers the UN system of human rights protection, Ukrainian, Russian and selected additional countries media legislation. Five Azerbaijani, two Russian and seven Ukrainian participants were able to attend thanks to IREX Europe and the European Union’s support.
Since 2006 CEDEM has organised an annual international summer school on media law. More than 280 participants from Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Southern Caucasus and Central Asia have been trained since 2006. IREX Europe in collaboration with ISLP and CEDEM are working with European Union support to improve media lawyers capacity to support independent media in the region, focusing in particular on assisting lawyers present cases to the European Court of Human Rights.