Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI)

Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI)

At a glance


  • Human rights

Other details

Geographical remit: 


MLDI supports independent media, journalists, and bloggers across the world who are under threat for their reporting by administering an emergency defence fund, helping with legal fees, establishing media defence centres, providing expertise/training to the lawyer(s) defending a case, and engaging in strategic litigation to challenge repressive media laws.


  • Administers an emergency defence fund to providing financial and technical assistance to ensure an effective legal defence to independent media outlets, journalists and bloggers around the world facing criminal or civil cases.
  • Undertakes and supports strategic litigation to promote a legal and regulatory framework in which independent media can report freely on issues of public interest. This includes challenging criminal defamation and national security charges, removing unreasonable restrictions to freedom of expression online and tackling impunity for physical violence and harassment against journalists and bloggers.
  • Trains lawyers on litigating freedom of expression cases, including before regional and international mechanisms.
  • Funds and supports local organisations around the world to develop media defence centres to provide free legal defence to independent media, journalists and bloggers in their countries.

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