More than 1,700 judges and other justice operators already accepted for online course on freedom of expression

There are 1,738 magistrates, judges and other justice operators from Latin America who have been accepted to take part in the fifth edition of the course “International legal framework on freedom of expression, access to information and protection of journalists,” which will start May 8. Applications are still open for the course, which will be conducted in Spanish.

This is a record number for this type of course, which aims to ensure that regional justice operators, especially judges, can reinforce their knowledge of international standards that govern the right to freedom of expression, access to public information and the protection of journalists.

Click here for more information about the course and how to register.

These innovative courses for judges are an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), in collaboration with the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin.

Applications will be open until April 30.

The application process consists of the following steps: 1.) submit the application form that is available here. 2.) If your application is accepted, you will receive an email from the Knight Center. Please allow at least 72 hours to receive this first email. 3.) Once you receive the email informing you that your application has been accepted, you must create an account at JournalismCourses.org, the Knight Center’s digital teaching platform where the course will be taught.

It is important that the email sent in the application form (point 1) is the same one that you use to create the account in our platform (point 3).

The instructors for the course are Catalina Botero, dean of the Law School at the University of the Andes of Colombia and former Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the IACHR; Frank La Rue, Unesco’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information and former UN Special Rapporteur for on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression; and Edison Lanza, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the IACHR.

The course will be taught from May 8 to June 18, 2017. Each weekly module consists of video lessons, reading material, quizzes, discussion forums and other assigned activities. This edition also has additional topics given by Lanza that are focused on jurisprudence.

It will be an asynchronous course, meaning that there are no live activities. In this way, classes and activities can be carried out at the student’s pace, in the days and hours that best suit them.

Students who successfully complete course assignments, including quizzes, may download a certificate of completion, which does not come with any academic credit, but documents successful participation in this online program.

UNESCO and the Office of the Special Rapporteur, in collaboration with the Knight Center, offered a pilot version of this course exclusively for judicial operators in Mexico in November 2014. In September 2015, a similar course was offered exclusively for judicial operators and journalists in the state of Coahuila in Mexico. This was the first course of its kind in the world that was directed at the state level. At the end of 2015, the course was offered at the Latin American level, and the last took place during the first semester of 2016.

Without counting the new cohort of participants this will register for the course this year, more than 3,000 judges and other justice operators, like prosecutors and court officials from all Latin American countries (except Cuba), have participated in the four previous editions of these courses.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.