Pro Bono Protection of Civil Liberties in Times of Crisis
Fiona Li | TrustLaw – Thomson Reuters Foundation | Thailand
Shawn Crispin | Senior Southeast Asia Representative | Committee to Protect Journalists (Thailand)
Prasanth Sugathan | Legal Director | Software Freedom Law Center (India)
Laura Notess | Legal Officer | Centre for Law and Democracy (Canada)
Saroj Ghimire | Managing Partner | Himalayan Lawyers & Associates (Nepal)
As countries globally have been drawing up laws and measures to control the spread of COVID-19, concerns have been raised around threats to various liberties. In Asia, we have witnessed a sweep of emergency measures that curb the flow of information through intimidation of the press leading to distrust and a surge of misinformation. Contact tracing and patient data have also become controversial with fears of violation of privacy without the necessary safeguards.
What has been the immediate impact on journalists and the right to information as a result of the responses? What are the possible impacts of these measures being extended when the pandemic subsides eventually? More importantly, how can pro bono support help protect these civil liberties?
This session explores the questions above with examples of pro bono support in research and litigation in Asia in the fields of media freedom, privacy and digital rights.