Apply for help

 

Legal cases are often brought against fact-checkers with no purpose other than to harass and silence them. At the Fact-checkers Legal Support Initiative (FLSI), we want to to ensure fact-checkers have the means to defend such cases. We also want to ensure that journalists and bloggers whose right to freedom of expression has been violated have access to legal remedies. For example, if a fact-checker has been assaulted for their work, we will consider providing legal assistance to ensure that the fact-checker can bring legal action.

MLDI (the Media Legal Defence Initiative) provides legal aid to ensure that journalists, bloggers and media outlets have an effective legal defence when cases are launched against them. Through FLSI, MLDI is extending this support to fact-checkers, too. If you are a fact-checker in need of legal support because of your work, you can apply at any time via MLDI’s application portal.

If you need legal support because of your fact-checking work, apply using MLDI’s secure portal.

FLSI will support all applications that fall within our mandate to the best of our financial ability. However, we will prioritize cases where there is no other in country support available, and cases that have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • There is a real risk that the case will result in the imprisonment of the fact-checker concerned;
  • There is a real risk that the case will result in the bankruptcy of the fact-checking organisation, or individual fact-checker concerned;
  • There is a real risk that the case will end in the closure of the fact-checking operation concerned;
  • FLSI is the only realistic avenue to provide the assistance required.

If you are unsure whether you qualify, please get in touch by emailing info@mediadefence.org and our staff will advise you. If you have any technical issues accessing the online form, please email info@mediadefence.org with details of the issue so we can resolve the problem.

How to apply

 

Applications are made through an online application system (see button below). Applications are normally made by the lawyer handling the case but can also be made by the journalist, the family/friend of a journalist or a relevant support organisation.

If the application is being completed by the lawyer handling the case, you will need to:

  • complete the full application form
  • provide copies of the legal documents
  • provide a budget breakdown
  • provide a link to or copy of the relevant article or report associated with the case

If you need legal support because of your fact-checking work, apply using MLDI’s secure portal.

If the application is being completed by the fact-checker, family member or support organisation, you will need to:

  • have identified a lawyer to handle the case (if you have not yet found a lawyer please contact us first and we may be able to put you in touch lawyers we have worked with previously)
  • complete the full application form
  • provide copies of the legal documents
  • provide a budget breakdown
  • provide a link to or copy of the relevant article associated with the case