UNESCO and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights are calling on operators of the justice systems in Latin America, particularly judges, to register for the massive open online course (MOOC) on issues related to freedom of expression, access to information and the safety of journalists.
The MOOC will have a wide range of relevant actors who will deliver in-depth training for operators of the regions judicial systems. The second round of this online course, titled International Legal Framework on Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and Protection of Journalists will take place from 4th April to 15th May 2016.
The MOOC is organized in 6 weekly thematic modules and will focus on subject matters such as the international framework for freedom of expression; the role of the judiciary system in the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed against individuals in retaliation for exercising their right to that freedom; the difficulties posed by the use of criminal law for their exercise; new challenges on the Internet; the right of access to information; and finally, diversity and pluralism in the media.
At the first version of the regional course offered in the last quarter of 2015, 1,300 judicial officials from 17 countries in the region were given the chance to discuss these issues. While 99.38% said the content offered by the course should be incorporated permanently in programs for judges and other judicial officers offered at the national level, 88.25% of the participants also said the course was excellent.
According to Edison Lanza, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, “the Office of the Rapporteur underlines in a special way the importance of judicial officers in the protection and promotion of freedom of expression. In this sense, we consider that all, judges, prosecutors, lawyers are key allies in defending and protecting this right for the consolidation of our democracies. The experience of the past year particularly strengthens this assessment and therefore the decision to continue offering this opportunity for dialogue and training to judicial officials in Latin America.”
The course is co-organised by UNESCO and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and coordinated by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin. The course is also supported by the Ibero American Judicial Summit, Latin American Network of Judicial Schools, the Foundation for Freedom of the Press, the American Association of Internet, the Government of Sweden and a number of respected judicial schools and institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean. The course is developed through the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, MOOC methodology and adapted by UNESCO and the Office of the Rapporteur.
Deadline for registration is 25th March 2016. For more information go here