Civic Space

“What International Lawyers' Project helps us and our in-country chapters achieve is incredible – they help us pick the right cases, actively convene the right legal teams and are deeply networked both within international civil society and with legal specialists around the world.”

Kush Amin

Transparency International 

What we do

We support and defend independent investigative journalists and their sources and collaborators in civil society or government worldwide who are engaged in exposing corruption, financial and environmental crimes – filling a key gap in civil society and journalistic efforts in accessing and utilising legal analysis and remedies to increase transparency, accountability and good governance.

Why we do it

Civic space is being threatened in many countries globally with much of the mainstream media being controlled by large corporate vested interests. Good investigative journalism and journalists are equally being threatened with imprisonment for speaking out. Through the use of legal expertise, we seek to redress this trend to challenge increasingly authoritarian governments not just in the Global South but also the Global North.

The inequality of resources many media face when defending a legal challenge means that information in the public interest is being suppressed on a wide range of issues.

Our lawyers will continue to fight not just for free and impartial media but also for society’s right to information so that wrongdoers can be held to account.

How we do it

We have urgently mobilised defence lawyers for investigative journalists and anti-corruption activists facing intimidation by oligarchs whose illicit activities they were seeking to expose in Pakistan, Brazil, South Africa and the UK.

Securing a judgement that helped to secure the Freedom of Information rights of those who have been seriously affected by the actions of the British government and its contractors so as to access information on an equal basis as UK citizens, enabling them to contest the decisions of powerful actors when they have acted unlawfully.

Our Work

Securing emergency representation for a Pakistani media outlet exposing high level corruption and laundering of 190 million pounds in the UK though the purchase of London real estate by a powerful mafia baron threatening to shut down the newspaper and pursue damages against its investigative reporters.
 
 

We have supported the initiative of the Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) to ensure the safety of journalists who investigate financial crimes in the UK by providing pre-publication libel review on FPC’s two reports that shed light on the use of the law to close down the media (via SLAPP suits and libel tourism) in the UK and recommend ways in which investigative journalists can be better protected.
 
​The reports have revealed the increasing number of attacks against investigative journalists and the lack of procedural guarantees in the UK legal system which have allowed London to become a hub for these kinds of threats and libel suits. The survey was conducted with the support of the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN). ILP has been asked to form an expert committee to continue to review these issues.