Muchiri Eric Thige, Lawyer, Kenya

Eric heard about our training through a senior lawyer at his firm (who also attended the training). Eric’s colleague encouraged him to apply as they thought it could be helpful to his practice.

Eric heard about our training through a senior lawyer at his firm (who also attended the training). Eric’s colleague encouraged him to apply as they thought it could be helpful to his practise.

He felt that the training met his expectations, especially in the area of freedom of expression. Eric noted that his filings and submissions for the defamation cases he works on have become richer and more persuasive since attending. The training also opened his mind to new issues such as the right to privacy. He was working on a Masters degree when he attended the training, and found his enhanced freedom of expression knowledge has enriched his thesis and confidence in arbitration.

“The training manual is my first point of reference for freedom of expression related cases”

Eric did not lead on any new defamation or freedom of expression cases immediately after the training but provided support to colleagues that handle these types of cases at his firm. Following the training he decided to approach his colleagues at Article 19 to embark on some cases once his Masters degree was completed.

Eric has also met up with lawyers he met at the training at conferences in East Africa and uses a dedicated WhatsApp group to follow key updates. He notes the Ugandan participants especially are particularly active, but the Tanzanian lawyers are ‘a little bit quieter.’ He found in the year after training there had not been any real impetus for collaborating on cases with colleagues in Tanzania and Uganda, but was confident that the network would be there should they ever need help from them.

Before the training Eric had not heard of MLDI and did not know about the work that we do. However, after attending the surgery he is more aware of the organisation and has been involved in some of the MLDI cases that his firm is handling. Eric suggests that follow up trainings organised by MLDI would help to provide more guidance on next steps. It would also be a useful way for lawyers to update each other on freedom of expression related issues.

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